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Press Used to Print Millions of Counterfeit US Banknotes Seized

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Trois-Rivières, January 31, 2014 – An offset printing press used to manufacture counterfeit US$20 banknotes was seized by the RCMP and US Secret Service. This significant seizure was made earlier today in the Trois-Rivières area. The authorities had been looking for this offset press for several years. A large quantity of paper was also seized by police, that could have been used by the counterfeiters to manufacture from US$40 to US$200 million.

This operation conducted as part of an investigation dubbed Project CRANIUM follows in the wake of the May 2012 dismantling of a laboratory, also in Trois-Rivières, that was used to add finishing touches to counterfeit notes. The investigation showed that the criminal organization had the capability to manufacture and to distribute worldwide millions of counterfeit US$20 banknotes.

Seized printing press - high resolution image

Seized material (2012) - high resolution image

Seized counterfeit money (2012) - high resolution image

Seized counterfeit money (2012) - high resolution image

Sophisticated Features

Those very high quality counterfeit notes were virtually undetectable to the naked eye. Some of the features they had were rather uncommon in this criminal industry, including the type of paper used, that was especially made with a Jackson watermark and a dark vertical stripe imitating the security thread found in authentic notes. 

Back in 2012, four individuals linked to this counterfeiting ring were indicted on a variety of charges, including possession of counterfeit money, making counterfeit money and uttering counterfeit money.   

Prevention and Detection

Bank note counterfeiting is still a common type of fraud. Counterfeiters use highly sophisticated techniques to frustrate law enforcement authorities, and criminal organizations resort more and more to this type of crime to fund their illegal activities.

Police encourage consumers, cash handlers and retailers to be vigilant to help maintain the integrity of currency. Through prevention, you can help reduce bank note counterfeiting.

Calling on the public

If you have any information on individuals or groups you suspect to be involved in counterfeiting activity, please contact the RCMP Integrated Counterfeit Enforcement Team at 1 800 771-5401.


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