Author Topic: Chinese caught running fake Euro coin ring  (Read 3196 times)

Offline Tascio

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Chinese caught running fake Euro coin ring
« on: March 31, 2011, 07:50:46 PM »
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-12919249

Police in Germany have arrested six people - four of them ethnic Chinese - suspected of cashing in invalid euro coins worth about 6m euros (£5.3m).

Broken coins are believed to have been sold to buyers in China as scrap metal, then welded back together, flown back to Germany and exchanged for banknotes at the Bundesbank - the central bank.

The Bundesbank exchanges damaged euro coins for banknotes at face value.

Police carried out raids in Frankfurt and three other central German towns.

A statement from the Hessen state prosecutor's office on Thursday said Bundesbank employees were not under suspicion.
Exchange scam

The suspects are those who allegedly handed in the bags of damaged one- and two-euro coins at the Bundesbank, receiving their face value in return.

Some genuine coins were reportedly mixed in with the forgeries, in order to pass the bank's visual controls.

The statement said the Bundesbank is the only bank in Europe that reimburses damaged euro coins at face value.

The damaged coins have to be handed in using "safebags" that can be bought on the internet. Each bag is designed to hold 1,000 euros' worth of coins.

The indictment says the suspects were helped by four flight attendants who managed to bring forged coins into Germany because they were not subject to baggage weight restrictions.

The elaborate operation, involving 29 tonnes of coins, allegedly took place from 2007 to November 2010.

The raids in Frankfurt, Offenbach, Fulda and Moerfelden-Walldorf resulted in the seizure of some three tonnes of broken coins, a coin-welding machine and computers.
« Last Edit: May 03, 2015, 03:33:59 PM by Tascio »



Offline Tascio

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Re: Chinese caught running fake Euro coin ring
« Reply #1 on: March 31, 2011, 07:53:21 PM »
Very heavy bag exposed coin fraud ring

By Reuters
         

FRANKFURT - An airline stewardess struggling to lift her bag at a German airport led to the discovery of a 6-million euro ($8.4 million) coin fraud.

The customs officer who stopped the stewardess in early 2010 found thousands of one and two euro coins in her bag, Bild newspaper reported in its Thursday edition.

The incident sparked an investigation that has uncovered a forgery ring stretching to China and potentially implicating employees of German airline Lufthansa, the paper said.

The Frankfurt prosecutors’ office said on Thursday it carried out dawn raids on offices and residences and arrested six people, four of whom are from China.

It suspects them of having smuggled coins that had been taken out of circulation or bits of those coins into Germany from China, where they had been sent as scrap metal.

The suspects then put the coins back together and exchanged them for a total of 6 million euros at the Bundesbank from 2007 to 2010, the prosecutors said.

Airline cabin crew do not have a weight limit on their baggage, prosecutors highlighted in a statement.

There was no suspicion of any wrongdoing on the part of Bundesbank employees, the prosecutors’ office added.

The Bundesbank said in a statement it was aware of the investigation into the use of scrapped coins. It also said that no Bundesbank employees were subject to the investigation.

A Lufthansa spokesman on Thursday said it was aware that individual employees were under investigation, but said the group could not comment on the investigation.

Old euro coins are taken out of circulation by removing the inner part of the coin from an outer ring and thus effectively turning them into scrap metal.

The investigators recovered around 3 tonnes of coin pieces as well as a machine for putting them back together, prosecutors said in the statement.

The Bundesbank is the only institute in Europe that exchanges damaged euro coins for free, replacing them with new ones of the same value.