Italy seizes fake coins minted in China

2014-12-12 20:54

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Palermo - Italian police on Friday seized €556 000 investigators said.

Palermo prosecutor Calogero Ferrara, who led the so-called "Shanghai Money" investigation, told reporters that this was the largest such seizure in the history of Europe's common currency, which began circulating in 2002.

Carabinieri paramilitary police arrested 12 people, including four Chinese nationals, for conspiracy to produce and distribute counterfeit money, investigators said.

"They were high-quality fakes produced at a clandestine Chinese mint and ready to be put on the Italian market just before the Christmas spending rush," read the arrest warrant seen by Reuters.

The 306 000 coins were in 1- and 2-euro denominations, according to Ferrara.

The 2-euro coins are "a perfect product" that cannot be distinguished from an authentic coin with the naked eye, Ferrara said. The 2-euro coins would even have worked in vending machines, he said, adding that the investigation is continuing.

Italy, and especially the area around Naples, is a hotbed for euro counterfeiting, but this is the first time that authorities said they had discovered fake euros made in China and shipped to the euro zone.

Italy's top counterfeit investigator in Naples, Gerardo Marinelli, said in September that half of all fake bills in the 18-country euro zone come from the Naples area, according to estimates based on previously sequestered banknotes.

But counterfeits remain only a small fraction of currency circulating in the euro zone, the European Central Bank says.

In September, Italian finance police arrested a man who concealed a haul of forged €50 banknotes equivalent to €17m in a van outside a shopping centre near Naples.

Read more on:    us  |  china

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.