shopping for hundreds of boxes full of The Venezuelan bill in the border area with Colombia was the warning bell that aroused the suspicions of the authorities about something illegal that could be cooking with foreign currency. They were not mistaken, they discovered a vast dollar counterfeiting operation with devalued Bolivar paper.
The first input suggested that an illegal act was being carried out with Venezuelan banknotes, but they did not know what. It’s about him. One of the Dijinn investigators, a specialist in counterfeiting crimes, sets out to find out what the criminals were up to and gets a tremendous surprise.
A human source told the agent that there was a criminal business that moved billions of pesos a month, in fact the bolivars were, as if by magic, converted into false dollars. With the information in his hands and since it was US currency, the officer requested support from the secret service of the authorities in that country.
The first clue given by the human source, They prompted officials to go to the border with Ecuador where, analyzing the $50 and $100 bills, they found they were counterfeit and circulated without any problems. They were high-quality reproductions, and the key was that they were made on paper money.
Money was circulating in large amounts, it was almost impossible for the common citizen to spot the difference, only experts managed to find Fraud. What caught the attention of the Colombian and United States authorities most was that the completeness of the banknotes led them to be certain that a large network was behind the counterfeiting.
While deepening the investigation, the rapid officer And his team found that this was a novel approach. The dollar was copied so well, that the money went unnoticed in Ecuador’s urban economy, In practical terms, the makers of the counterfeit dollar had hit the nail on the head, causing a flood of counterfeit money into the neighboring country.
An investigation lasted nearly two years to locate the plant where hundreds of counterfeit dollar bills were made. Photo: Police
The data showed the organization moved between one and two million illegal dollars a month and began a chain of illegal bill-making. Cúcuta, Norte de Santander, where the network bought bolivars by the box, taking advantage of the devaluation of that currency. The bills were taken to Medellin, where they were subjected to a sophisticated chemical process, which included completely erasing Bolivar’s design and leaving it blank banknote paper and thus be able to reprint it. The network focused on the five bolivar bill because it has the same dimensions as the 50 and 100 dollar bills.
With white banknote paper, network It passed through a lithographic plant, modified with some electrostatic plates in its rollers, imported from the United States, and containing the 50 and 100 dollar designs, receiving a reprint of the bill, which Later the other was presented. chemical process to color it, Sniffing and fine-tuning details such as security seals, holograms and relief in the texture of the original banknote.
With the ticket ready, the network sent it by land to the border area between Colombia and Ecuador, where it was received by another organization that was in charge of bringing it to the neighboring country and operating it in the urban economy as if it were a legal money
General Olga Salazar, Director Dijin revealed that “this is the crisis of the years, criminals are always looking for new methods. Now they buy bolivars, convert them to dollars and sell them for between 2,000 and 2,500 pesos.”
In this case, the authorities captured Two people, the logisticians, who stored the dollars in Medellin, and the carriers, who were in charge of distributing the bills in the border area. The factory that made the replicas was also demolished.
In another operation, Dijin captured six people, many of them false soldiers, who They defrauded unsuspecting citizens with dollars that were allegedly from guacas buried by the Farc.
The alleged army was looking for its victims on the internet, usually people who wanted to acquire some high-cost items or even people who were selling properties. The criminals contacted their victims and asked them to meet to discuss business.
The criminals came to the meeting in the guise of a constable. The conversation was friendly, wanted to close business, but always put a caveat: Payment was made in dollars, with bills that were salvaged from the guacas of the Farc guerrillas, which was legitimate money, but they, because they were soldiers, had access to dollars.
These $1 coins were also counterfeited by a network that used Venezuelan bolivars to make counterfeit dollars and sell them in Ecuador.
They climb on top of the victim to gain her trust Trade with real dollars. The victim went to a money order house to get change in Colombian pesos and seeing that they were legitimate, the fraudulent business closed, the ‘tumbe’ completed; Fake soldiers who were part of the counterfeit dollar network paid off the surplus of the business with counterfeit bills.
Captured in Bogotá in separate incidents to reveal the modus operandi of this network Surveillance police, which were recorded as separate incidents, on false soldiers who stood near the battalion and the Ministry of Defense with false dollars. These facts helped to identify the djinn for network members.
With the information on the false soldiers, they started a selective search in the database, where they were able to find interceptions like this: “Our Nero’s heel was broken when they were coming on a camel to Puente Aranda,” according to the police, One of the soldiers falsely tells another member of the network that they caught one of them with counterfeit dollars and dressed as a soldier.
Upon probing the complaints, investigators found that the network of false soldiers also rented apartments by the hour, where they took The victims were supposed to shut down the business, but this did not happen. Inside the building, the criminals tied them up, took their money, jewelry and cellphones and left them lying around.
On this machine the network used to print counterfeit dollars in Medellin and then send them to the border area.
One of the victims narrated his bitter experience with the false constables he met He was going to sell some cats from a particular breed battery at high prices and with a record of selling to other countries.
“One of them told us that his cousin He was a sergeant in the army and was interested in the cat business. He made an appointment for us in a military battalion and the sergeant told us that he had an operation in which he had found a cove and needed to transfer dollars quickly”, the victim agreed to the business, but did not imagine that it was almost over in legal trouble for carrying counterfeit dollars; The police came in the middle of the transaction, “Easy money doesn’t work”, he said.
Due to these events, Djinn captured six people in Bogotá and Cali, and a structure known as La 37 collapsed. that he may have achieved a fraud with counterfeit money of more than 500 million pesos in the case of only seven victims, but it is estimated that the criminal structure had hundreds of millions in receiving.
According to police, with this modified lithographic machine on its rollers, the transnational network printed between $1 and $2 million per month.
Director of Dijin, General Olga Salazar reminds citizens that when trading looks very attractive, you have to be careful Because of course they are going to scam as happened in this last case where dollars from Farc’s alleged guacas had the worst experience for those affected.