Dollar Counterfeiting: Peru Becomes No. 1 Source Of Fake U.S. Currency, Money Business “More Profitable” Than Cocaine

By Philip Ross on September 5, 2013 5:27 PM EDT

dollar counterfeiting
Counterfeit U.S. dollar notes are displayed during a media conference in Lima April 17, 2013. Approximately 10 million U.S. dollars and 12 million Peruvian Nuevos Soles counterfeit bills were found by the police in an illegal laboratory, the police department said. (Photo: Reuters)

Dollar counterfeiting is a highly lucrative business in Peru. In fact, criminals in the country make more money manufacturing fake currency than they do cocaine. And most dollar counterfeiting now takes place in Peru, which just became the number one source of fake U.S. currency. According to Fox News Latino, their product is particularly high quality because every stitch is done by hand.

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Peruvian counterfeiters are so particular about their dollar counterfeiting, even the metal strips are inserted by hand. The phony money makers use needles to insert the strips, and then affix them with glue from a medical syringe, according to CBS News.

Peru is so deep into the dollar counterfeiting business the the U.S. Secret Service, the agency responsible for maintaining the integrity of American currency, set up an office in Lima last year to combat the country's burgeoning counterfeiting business. United Press International reports that over the past decade, the agency has seized $103 million in phony U.S. bills

According to one Secret Service officer at the U.S. Embassy, the counterfeiters use machines used to print newspapers and flyers. "It's a very good note," the officer told AP.

Why has Peru become the capital of U.S. dollar counterfeiting?

According to AP, Peru's cheap labor, less effective law enforcement and scrupulous criminal counterfeiters make it a prime location for phony currency production.

The fake bills are transferred to the U.S. using the same methods as cocaine traffickers. They'll hide the currency in false-bottom suitcases, books and even food products. Sometimes, smugglers will swallow rolls of bills wrapped in latex.

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