At a press conference today, Police Commissioner Tibor Gaspar told journalists about the first phase of operation Baron, with the police force having made a sting on two money counterfeiting rings in the east of the country last week.
Four people aged 27-45 have been arrested on charges of running a counterfeiting operation as part of an organised crime group. The group had apparently been producing forged euro banknotes near Michalovce since March 2013, with the plan to get the money into circulation through buying black market cigarettes from Ukraine.
The police raid on several homes led to the confiscation of around EUR 6,600 worth of forged banknotes, along with the equipment needed to make them.
The other raid in Nitra region involved around EUR 30,000 in imported counterfeit banknotes, with two people charged. Commissioner Gaspar believes the forgeries probably came from Bulgaria, Romania or Poland. The number of false banknotes showing up in circulation is on the rise, with 1850 cases reported to the police this year, which is 628 more cases than in 2012. The perpetrators now face jail sentences of up to 15 years.