Colombian authorities say they have seized $19 million in forged U.S. currency so far this year, five times the amount confiscated last year.
A statement from the Presidency’s press office says 16 people have been arrested in Colombia and the United States in connection with the seizures and seven illegal counterfeiting print shops have been dismantled.
It said Tuesday that $4.3 million in counterfeit bills were seized in all of 2008.
Felipe Munoz, director of Colombia’s DAS intelligence agency, says the raids have contributed to his agency’s investigations into networks that support drug trafficking.
DAS attributes the fivefold spike in counterfeit bill seizures to improved intelligence and police work. (AP)