Italian police shut down counterfeit money ring in Naples, seizing $1.2 million

Associated Press

Police in Naples have broken up a counterfeit money ring that allegedly printed millions worth of fake euro bills and coins distributed in Europe and North Africa.

Prosecutors said investigators seized 1 million euros ($1.2 million) in counterfeit notes in the course of the two-year investigation, along with a printing press able to produce high-quality fake bills and a minting press for 1-euro and 2-euro coins. Warrants were issued Wednesday for 56 people.

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The ring was based in Naples, which prosecutors said has been recognized as the source of 90 percent of all counterfeit money circulated in the world.

The ring was so brazen, authorities said, that one suspect was distributing counterfeit bills while under house arrest for the same charge.