WORKING with the Mossos d’Esquadra (Catalan police force), the National Police have smashed an organisation which was involved with the manufacture and distribution of fake €200 bank notes and nine people including two minors have been arrested in Murcia and Ciudad Real.
The police forces first became aware of this illegal operation in February 2016 when it was noted that a number of fake €200 notes were being passed in different parts of Spain and after painstaking investigation, the joint operation was able to decide on the ‘modus operandi’ of the group which it was assumed was also responsible for the production of the notes.
Although a little unsophisticated, the scam depended on those passing notes entering a shop and offering to pay for a low price item using a genuine banknote and once that had been checked and found to be genuine, they would then ask for it back, saying that they remembered that they had smaller change.
Having taken the genuine note back they apologised as they had spent the smaller change and re-offered what the shopkeepers assumed was the original checked note, but in fact it was a cleverly replaced fake which the crooks assumed would not be checked again and it was then they would violently exit the premises.
In other cases, as one member of the gang tried to pay directly with a fake note, other members would cause a loud argument in the hope that the shopkeeper would be distracted and not check the note.
Officers who arrested the nine individuals in Puertollano and Murcia estimate that at least €250,000 in face value of these notes had been passed before the gang was disbanded.