A flood of high-quality counterfeit U.S. money from Peru is perplexing federal authorities, who say the shadowy networks that are responsible are also engaging in other criminal activity that poses a threat to national security.
Over the last year, authorities and banks have recovered at least $7.8 million in fake notes across the United States that they believe were manufactured in Peru, according to Secret Service statistics. In addition, $446,280 in fake U.S. cash from Peru was seized before it was spent during that same period, and more than $18.2 million more in raids in the South American country, the Secret Service said.
“And that’s just a fraction of the notes that we can ally to Peru” worldwide, said John Large, the assistant special agent in charge of the Secret Service’s criminal division at its headquarters in Washington. “It’s a form of economic terrorism.”