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 / 7 APR 2016

A pastoral letter by members of Bolivia's Catholic Church has spoken out against drug trafficking and consumption in the country,…

ARGENTINA / 4 AUG 2011

Bolivia is set to install a radar security system on its border to better monitor its airspace and fight drug…

BOLIVIA / 22 JUN 2016

One of Latin America's most impoverished nations, Bolivia is the world's third largest producer of coca after Colombia and Peru,…

About InSight Crime

THE ORGANIZATION

Who Are Memo Fantasma and Sergio Roberto de Carvalho?

24 JUN 2022

Inside the criminal career of Memo Fantasma  In March 2020, InSight Crime revealed the identity and whereabouts of Memo Fantasma, a paramilitary commander and drug trafficker living in…

THE ORGANIZATION

Environmental and Academic Praise

17 JUN 2022

InSight Crime’s six-part series on the plunder of the Peruvian Amazon continues to inform the debate on environmental security in the region. Our Environmental Crimes Project Manager, María Fernanda Ramírez,…

LA ORGANIZACIÓN

Series on Plunder of Peru’s Amazon Makes Headlines

10 JUN 2022

Since launching on June 2, InSight Crime’s six-part series on environmental crime in Peru’s Amazon has been well-received. Detailing the shocking impunity enjoyed by those plundering the rainforest, the investigation…

THE ORGANIZATION

Duarte’s Death Makes Waves

3 JUN 2022

The announcement of the death of Gentil Duarte, one of the top dissident commanders of the defunct Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), continues to reverberate in Venezuela and Colombia.

THE ORGANIZATION

Cattle Trafficking Acclaim, Investigation into Peru’s Amazon 

27 MAY 2022

On May 18, InSight Crime launched its most recent investigation into cattle trafficking between Central America and Mexico. It showed precisely how beef, illicitly produced in Honduras, Guatemala…