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Money Forgery: A Reoccurring Problem in the EU

November 4, 2016

This week Bulgarian Officials seized over €13 million worth of forged currency after being tipped off by a member of the public that the fake bills were going to be circulated in the immediate future. The bills were strictly comprised of €500 euro notes, which are set to be phased out in the coming months, but could have had a devastating impact on the European Union economy and value of the EURO.

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A German authority shows the media counterfeited Euro notes seized on a recent police raid.

The problem of counterfeited currency is not a new phenomenon for the European Union. In 2013 Portuguese officials seized €380,000 in counterfeited notes, which lead to a number of arrests. Just recently it was reported that counterfeited money crimes rose by nearly 42% in Germany and is plaguing other nations as well.

Each year Europol releases an official situation report on counterfeiting in the European Union.  In the 2015 report, it was found that most counterfeit goods and forged notes came from China and passed through a number of transit countries before reaching Europe.

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This map from the 2015 Europol Counterfeiting Situation Report shows how far Chinese counterfeiting has spread throughout the world.

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This pie chart from the 2015 Europol Counterfeiting Situation Report depicts the transit countries where Chinese counterfeited goods pass through.

Due to the shear magnitude of this problem, many local police services are unable to do an effective job of rounding up these counterfeit bills.


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