Colombian authorities have found 40 billion pesos ($21 million) worth of fake bills in the house of a family member of a former municipal mayor.
The Technical Investigative Body (CTI) of the Prosecutor General’s Office found the counterfeit money in a house in the municipality of San Gil in the northeastern state of Santander.
The house belonged to a family member of former mayor Orlando Rodriguez Villar. He was one of three men arrested. Villar was already under house arrest after being sentenced in May 2011 to four years in prison for the crime of illegally awarding contracts.
The false bills were kept in 54 boxes, and were seized by the CTI along with chemicals and other paraphernalia used for manufacturing false bills.
The seizure was part of an investigation that had been running for around 6 months, according to the press release from the Prosecutor General’s Office.
Colombia used to be the world’s top producer of fake dollars, responsible for some 43% of all counterfeit dollars, but was surpassed by Peru around 2009.
Crime website Insight Crime says that while counterfeit money is principally used by organized crime groups to fund their business activities, the counterfeit money networks are usually independent operations without ties to specific organizations.
San Gil, Santander
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