HomeNewsBriefEl Salvador Police Seize $1.5M in Fake Cash
BRIEF

El Salvador Police Seize $1.5M in Fake Cash

EL SALVADOR / 19 JAN 2012 BY CHRISTOPHER LOOFT EN

El Salvador police arrested four people and seized about $1.5 million in fake dollar bills, highlighting the growth of the counterfeit trade, which is due in part to the country’s dollarized economy. 

According to La Prensa Grafica, an official from the Attorney General’s Office said the seizure and arrest were the result of a four month investigation. He said the four suspects arrested were also accused of trafficking guns and drugs; authorities recovered a pistol and a trace amount of unspecified drugs at the scene.

The money seized was likely intended for export, according to the same official.

InSight Crime Analysis

El Salvador adopted the dollar as its national currency in 2001. Along with lax laws regarding the movement of large amounts of cash in and out of the country, the dollarization of the El Salvador economy has proved attractive to criminal groups. This is especially the case as most drug transactions in the region are carried out with dollars. Thus, in dollarized economies like El Salvador, Panama, and Ecuador, there is no need for criminal groups change money into another currency.

El Salvador’s dollarized economy may be feeding the growth of the counterfeit trade. La Prensa Grafica reported that in 2011, from January to November, banks reported finding $161,696 in counterfeit bills, a more than 30 percent increase over the same period in 2009.

Colombia has long been Latin America’s top producer of counterfeit dollars, although the industry has grown exponentially in Peru over the past several years.

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

EL SALVADOR / 3 SEP 2012

The announcement that El Salvador has over a thousand unresolved complaints against 80 percent of the country's judges paints an…

EL SALVADOR / 4 NOV 2016

New details have emerged about the embezzlement and money laundering case against former El Salvador President Elías Antonio Saca, suggesting public and…

EL SALVADOR / 17 OCT 2018

An investigation in El Salvador has uncovered links between former members of the Attorney General’s office and the government of…

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…