On November 17, U.S. Secret Service revealed that $30 million in counterfeit money had been uncovered and seized in Peru on November 15. This is quite the historical counterfeit money bust: it is the largest amount of counterfeit money ever seized by the Secret Service.
For the last decade or so Peru has emerged as the one of the world’s leaders in counterfeit money production: in the last ten years alone, about $103 million in counterfeit money that had been produced in Peru was seized in the United States. You can learn more about Peru and its burgeoning counterfeit money production trade in our previous post.
The Details on Operation Sunset
Amount of Counterfeit Money Seized
$30 million in counterfeit U.S. dollars and €50,000 in counterfeit euros
6 counterfeit money plants, 8 money manufacturing presses, and over 1,600 printing plates + negatives of denominations
November 15, 2016
Amount of people were arrested
Agencies Carrying Out the Bust
U.S. Secret Service & Peruvian Police
Code Name for the Bust
Putting it All Together
On November 17, 2016, the U.S. Secret Service announced that on November 15, 2016 in Lima, Peru, U.S. Secret Service agents and 1,500 Peruvian police - armed with a total of 54 search warrants - conducted “Operation Sunset”: the largest operational bust of counterfeit money ever in the history of the U.S. Secret Service. (Interesting side note: The Secret Service was originally established a couple months after the end of the Civil War to prevent the circulation of counterfeit money.)
According to the Secret Service, Operation Sunset was “an intense global investigation involving six Peruvian-based criminal organizations.”
Operation Sunset resulted with $30 million in counterfeit U.S. dollars and €50,000 in counterfeit euros being uncovered and collected. In addition, agents shut down six counterfeit money production plants, seized eight money manufacturing presses along with 1,600 printing plates and negatives of various denominations. In total, 48 people were arrested.
Operation Sunset Photos
*Note: All photos courtsey of the U.S. Secret Service*