European police agency warns of euro forgery


Europol has claimed forgers in Macedonia, Kosovo and other Eastern European countries pose an "imminent threat" to the integrity of euro banknotes.

"We are receiving intelligence that counterfeiters from these countries are active and could flood the markets with false currency from January," Mr Willie Bruggeman, deputy director of the pan-European Union police agency. told the Financial Times.

The 12 EU countries that have adopted the euro are preparing to introduce common notes and coins on January 1st. Macedonia and Kosovo are two of a number of non-EU territories intending to adopt the euro as their official currency.

According to the Financial Times, counterfeiters are understood to be focusing on copying 100-euro notes and 200-euro notes.

Bruggeman said he was "not so concerned" about 500-euro notes because high-denomination fakes were likely to attract suspicion.

There was also a significant threat that cheap photocopies would infiltrate the market in Eastern Europe, Latin America and the Far East, particularly Japan and Taiwan, Mr Bruggeman said.