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RIA Novosti

Russia

Russian counterfeiters prefer the euro - Interpol official

13:01 30/03/2007
MOSCOW, March 30 (RIA Novosti) - Russian counterfeiters are switching to the euro, with the number of forged dollar notes gradually declining, a Russian interior ministry official said Friday.

In an interview with a currency magazine Alexander Prokopchuk, deputy head of Interpol's National Central Bureau at the Russian interior ministry, said, "In 2006, 1,138 forfeited banknotes worth 106,440 euros were confiscated in Russia, [against 979 forfeited euro banknotes in 2005]."

Prokopchuk said 918 criminal cases had been launched, which is three times the amount in 2005.

European forgers have been taking a closer interest in Russia as a marketing outlet, which is why cooperation with Russian law enforcement agencies is a priority for Europol, the official said.

However, U.S. dollar banknotes remain the most favorable currency for counterfeiters around the globe, Prokopchuk said.

"Last year over 24,000 forfeited dollar banknotes worth $2.6 million were confiscated," he said.

Speaking on the Russian ruble, Prokopchuk said more than 118,000 counterfeit ruble notes worth over 104 million rubles ($4 million) were confiscated in 2006, up 60.6% year-on-year.

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