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.  

Compartir icon icon icon

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.

Related Content

BOLIVIA / 12 MAY 2014

Authorities in Bolivia have identified three trafficking routes used to transport drugs from Peru to Brazil by land and water,…

BOLIVIA / 26 MAY 2015

Martin Belaunde was once the manager of President Ollanta Humala's unsuccessful presidential campaign in 2006, and the boyfriend of a…

BOLIVIA / 9 MAR 2020

Since Bolivia’s botched elections in October 2019, numerous high-standing politicians and law enforcement officials associated with the Movement…

About InSight Crime

THE ORGANIZATION

We Have Updated Our Website

4 FEB 2021

Welcome to our new home page. We have revamped the site to create a better display and reader experience.

THE ORGANIZATION

InSight Crime Events – Border Crime: The Northern Triangle and Tri-Border Area

ARGENTINA / 25 JAN 2021

Through several rounds of extensive field investigations, our researchers have analyzed and mapped out the main illicit economies and criminal groups present in 39 border departments spread across the six countries of study – the Northern Triangle trio of Guatemala, Honduras, and El…

BRIEF

InSight Crime’s ‘Memo Fantasma’ Investigation Wins Simón Bolívar National Journalism Prize

COLOMBIA / 20 NOV 2020

The staff at InSight Crime was awarded the prestigious Simón Bolívar national journalism prize in Colombia for its two-year investigation into the drug trafficker known as “Memo Fantasma,” which was…

ANALYSIS

InSight Crime – From Uncovering Organized Crime to Finding What Works

COLOMBIA / 12 NOV 2020

This project began 10 years ago as an effort to address a problem: the lack of daily coverage, investigative stories and analysis of organized crime in the Americas. …

ANALYSIS

InSight Crime – Ten Years of Investigating Organized Crime in the Americas

FEATURED / 2 NOV 2020

In early 2009, Steven Dudley was in Medellín, Colombia. His assignment: speak to a jailed paramilitary leader in the Itagui prison, just south of the city. Following his interview inside…