Six sentenced over major dollar-bill counterfeiting operation in Rīga

On September 8, the Riga City Court sentenced six men to prison sentences for forgery of 3.5 million U.S. dollars, the LETA news agency reports.

Aleksandrs Fomičevs, Viktors Ždanovics, Normunds Yuška, Ilmars Krieviņš, Māris Popovs and Sergejs Jakovlevs Zhdanovičs, Normunds Yuška, Ilmars Krievins, Māris Popovs and Sergejs Jakovlevs were handed jail terms ranging from three to five years, plus one year of probationary supervision.

Previously, the prosecutor's office wrote in a press release that six persons were accused in the case for producing and storing fake 100-dollar banknotes in an organized group with the purpose of distributing them for profit.

The members of the organized gang set up a printing house in Rīga, adapted the premises to the needs of the printing house, and purchased and installed the necessary equipment, under the guise of performing legal activities, but instead turned out 100-dollar bills of U.S. currency in large quantities – an activity guaranteed to provoke the wrath of U.S. as well as local law enforcement.

The members of the organized group kept some of the counterfeit banknotes on the premises of the printing house, some in their residences, and some on the premises of another merchant.

After raiding the premises, the officers of the State Police took away fake bills worth US $3.5 million (€3,167,759) – making it the largest counterfeiting operation in the history of Latvia. The quality of the fake US dollars was deemed to be high.

The origins of the case date back nearly a decade, as reported by LSM previously. In April 2016, representatives of the State Police told journalists that in September 2014, three persons were arrested for distributing counterfeit 100 dollar bills, but during the investigation no evidence was obtained as to the origin of the money. During the following years, together with partners in other countries, it was established that the same type of banknotes were distributed in Latvia, the USA and Great Britain.



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