$43 million in U.S. counterfeit currency seized in Peru since January 2009

Peru’s Criminal Investigative Police Unit has seized $43 million in counterfeit US currency in Peru’s capital city, Lima, since January 2009, daily El Comercio reported Wednesday.

On April 7, 2009, $15 million counterfeit U.S. bills and a lithographic printing press were seized by Peru police in Lima’s La Victoria and Lince districts.

A week prior, on March 26, 2009, agents seized a top-notch printing press, thousands of near-perfect greenbacks, and heaps of paper set to be printed with 20, 50 and 100 U.S. dollar bills.

Had the printing – already underway for at least three days and nights – been completed, $28 million would have been exported from Peru to the U.S., Colombia and Ecuador, confessed Daniel Fernández Silvestre, 57, upon arrest.

Most of the Peru-manufactured fake dollars are sent to Ecuador and El Salvador, which together with Panama use the greenback as their national currency.

Lima is considered by “The Economist” as the world’s new hot spot for counterfeit currency-making: while $43 million in counterfeit currency was seized solely in Peru since January 2009, $103 million was seized by the U.S. Secret Service in the rest of the world last year.

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