HomeNewsBriefBolivia Dismantles Fake Money Operation
BRIEF

Bolivia Dismantles Fake Money Operation

BOLIVIA / 27 SEP 2013 BY CHARLES PARKINSON EN

Authorities in Bolivia have broken up a criminal operation dedicated to producing false local currency, in a case which highlights the spread of counterfeiting and the migration of criminal experts.

Five individuals were arrested following a six month investigation in the city of El Alto by the country's Special Anti-Crime Force (FELCC) which found the enterprise in possession of sophisticated equipment and paper "very similar" to that used for Bolivian bank notes. The group were apparently producing 100, 50 and 20 boliviano notes -- worth approximately $14, $7 and $3 each -- and selling them in bulk for one boliviano ($0.14) each, reported La Razon.

The group was allegedly led by a Peruvian, who remains at large, and sold the money to a woman who travelled monthly from the southeastern city of Santa Cruz to collect the notes. The investigation began after a complaint was lodged by the Central Bank of Bolivia, reported El Diario.

Earlier this year, a counterfeiting operation producing US dollars and bolivianos was uncovered in the central city of Cochabamba.

fakebill

InSight Crime Analysis

Colombia has traditionally been the region's major source of false currency and continues to be a key producer, with almost $6 million recovered in a single haul and two counterfeit euro operations uncovered last year

However, that dynamic has begun to change and Peru has emerged as the region's primary producer of false dollars. According to a report last year, 17 percent of the counterfeit dollars in the United States originate in Peru. It is therefore no surprise that a Peruvian may be leading a Bolivian counterfeiting operation. Dollarization in Ecuador and Panama, as well as the black market in Venezuela, has driven the trade, with a case this year highlighting the flow of fake dollars between Peru and Ecuador.

While Bolivia is not considered a major source of fake money, this case and the Cochabamba group demonstrate that it does play a part in the trade. The fact that the El Alto organization was selling to someone based in Santa Cruz, where transnational drug trafficking presence is on the rise, suggests that there might also be an organized crime element to this case.  

share icon icon icon

Was this content helpful?

We want to sustain Latin America’s largest organized crime database, but in order to do so, we need resources.

DONATE

What are your thoughts? Click here to send InSight Crime your comments.

We encourage readers to copy and distribute our work for non-commercial purposes, with attribution to InSight Crime in the byline and links to the original at both the top and bottom of the article. Check the Creative Commons website for more details of how to share our work, and please send us an email if you use an article.

Was this content helpful?

We want to sustain Latin America’s largest organized crime database, but in order to do so, we need resources.

DONATE

Related Content

BOLIVIA / 14 JAN 2011

Friday, authorities in Nigeria seized a cocaine shipment with an estimated worth of $7 million in the port city Lagos.

BOLIVIA / 31 AUG 2012

Residents in a Bolivian border town burned two Brazilian men alive in retaliation for alleged homicide crimes, typifying the kind…

BOLIVIA / 4 OCT 2012

Bolivia announced it will install a permanent base in the eastern department of Santa Cruz to counter drug trafficking in…

About InSight Crime

THE ORGANIZATION

InSight Crime Tackles Illegal Fishing

15 OCT 2021

In October, InSight Crime and American University’s Center for Latin American and Latino Studies (CLALS) began a year-long project on illegal, unreported, unregulated (IUU) fishing in…

THE ORGANIZATION

InSight Crime Featured in Handbook for Reporting on Organized Crime

8 OCT 2021

In late September, the Global Investigative Journalism Network (GIJN) published an excerpt of its forthcoming guide on reporting organized crime in Indonesia.

THE ORGANIZATION

Probing Organized Crime in Haiti

1 OCT 2021

InSight Crime has made it a priority to investigate organized crime in Haiti, where an impotent state is reeling after the July assassination of President Jovenel Moïse, coupled with an…

THE ORGANIZATION

Emergency First Aid in Hostile Environments

24 SEP 2021

At InSight Crime's annual treat, we ramped up hostile environment and emergency first aid training for our 40-member staff, many of whom conduct on-the-ground investigations in dangerous corners of the region.

THE ORGANIZATION

Series on Environmental Crime in the Amazon Generates Headlines

17 SEP 2021

InSight Crime and the Igarapé Institute have been delighted at the response to our joint investigation into environmental crimes in the Colombian Amazon. Coverage of our chapters dedicated to illegal mining…