Only 3% of Counterfeit Euros in France from Darknet Markets

France, despite a drastic decline in counterfeit use throughout Europe, still sees a significant number of counterfeiting crimes. Very few of the counterfeit noted in circulation originated from within France, as well. Yet, out of all the countries in Europe, France is first on the list of countries most affected by counterfeit currency. The director of the anti-counterfeiting detailed the current situation in France, along with the reasoning behind the increased counterfeit numbers when compared to other countries in the reason.

Fabien Lang, the head of the Central Office for the Suppression of Counterfeiting (OCRFM) said that several 2016 changes had influenced the overall decline in numbers. Starting in 2017, countries had reported an average of a 35 percent decrease in counterfeit use. One of the main reasons for this decrease, Lang said, was a change made by the European Central Bank. The bank introduced new Euro notes: a €20 banknote and a €50 banknote. The notes incorporated new security features that increased the level of skill needed to reproduce the notes.

And another main reason, the Central Office director said, was that throughout 2016, Italian law enforcement dismantled numerous counterfeiting outfits. Many of which operated from Naples, and by coincidence, many of the cells were associated with the Napoli Group. And, at the time, the Napoli Group printed the majority of the counterfeits in circulation.

The majority of banknotes had come from locations controlled by the Camorra. But, as with the Napoli Group, no counterfeiting operation was linked to organized crime that extended beyond counterfeiting itself. Yet, for France, the majority of the seized banknotes had originated from Italy.

For France, though, darknet counterfeit sales made up very little of the total seized. As low as three percent. The number rides well below the European average of “darknet counterfeits,” However on average in Europe, 10 percent of seized counterfeit money originates from the darknet. There are hotspots across the world, though. For instance, specific towns in Germany during 2016, but despite an increase in talent and availability of counterfeiting material, the total number seized remains low.

At the peak in France, darknet counterfeits, for lack of a better term, amounted to less than 30,000 of the total counterfeits seized. Lang said French authorities had caught 100 counterfeiters (no distinction between buyers and sellers) in 2017 alone. He noted that the anonymous nature of the darknet transactions made the job more difficult—but at less than three percent of the total nodes in circulating—the darknet is far less of a concern than Italian traffickers. One notable distinction between darknet counterfeits and others could be seen in the quality. The counterfeit notes ordered from darknet vendors were of a poor quality whereas the Italian counterfeiters had even fooled banks with denominations that had never existed.

The darknet counterfeits in France usually come from the Netherlands, according to the director. And naturally, with 73 percent of the notes coming from Italy via traditional methods, the darknet is not a major concern in France—as far as counterfeit currency goes.

Only 3% of Counterfeit Euros in France from Darknet Markets Only 3% of Counterfeit Euros in France from Darknet Markets Reviewed by KAMAR CISA on November 19, 2017 Rating: 5
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