This is the dramatic moment Spanish police bust through the doors of Europe’s largest counterfeit 500-euro banknote lab and makes several arrests as it shuts the whole place down.
Twelve arrests were made during a joint operation of the National Police, Mossos d’Esquadra and Europol in the Spanish municipalities of Costa del Sol and Costa Blanca.
The laboratory had produced just over 8 million fake euros, according to investigators.
Police also seized the money printer and the main distributors, and nine entries and searches have been made in the provinces of Alicante, Barcelona, Malaga, Teruel and Valencia.
About 100 agents between the National Police, Mossos d’Esquadra and EUROPOL have participated in the operation.
In this footage obtained by Newsflash from the National Police, police operatives can be seen kicking down the door and entering where the criminals are hiding and putting them in handcuffs as they search the place.
The police investigations began in mid-2021, when the circulation of high-quality counterfeit 500-euro bills was detected, the incidence of which affected a large part of the national territory, according to Spain’s Ministry of Internal Affairs.
Agents from the Investigation Brigade of the Bank of Spain already had their main suspect, who was already arrested in 2009 for similar events.
The Mossos d’Esquadra of the Central Currency Counterfeiting Unit reportedly located a bag in a town near Barcelona containing just over 4 million euros in counterfeit 500 bills.
An expert from the Bank of Spain was then able to confirm that it was the same forgery from back in 2009.
The money was sent to forensic experts to identify anyone who may have had access to it, which led to the identification of the printer and five other people – the suspect’s close associates.
It was also found that the suspect lived comfortably with his wife and her young daughter, leading an idle life after serving out a prison sentence.
During this time he collected material and set up the lab, then brought a criminal group together to start printing fake money once again.
Banknotes continued to enter different cities but in small quantities.
The Ministry said: “This money was allegedly destined for different criminal activities, such as the purchase of drugs.”
It was estimated that about 8 million worth of 500-euro banknotes were printed out in the illegal facility.
The detainees were charged with offences of currency counterfeiting and organised crime.
The main suspects – including the group’s leader – were sent to prison, according to the Ministry.