In the last trimester of 2016 DG ECFIN organised several actions to protect the euro against counterfeiting. Under the Pericles 2020 programme several conferences were organised to exchange experiences with EU Member States and third countries.
''Pericles 2020'' is an exchange, assistance and training programme for the protection of euro banknotes and coins against counterfeiting with an annual budget of around €1million. The report from the Commission to the European Parliament and the Council concerning the implementation and the results of the programme in 2015 was published on 30 June 2016.
The Directive on the protection of the euro and other currencies through criminal law measures introduces tougher sanctions for criminals and improved tools for cross-border investigation. These EU rules must be implemented and applied by all Member States as of today.
The Commission, represented by the Head of Unit ECFIN/R6 presented at the meeting of the European Parliament's LIBE Committee the report from the Commission concerning the implementation and the results of the Pericles programme for the protection of the euro against counterfeiting in 2014 (COM(2015) 507 final).
The Council Regulation (EC) No 1338/2001 requires credit institutions (mainly banks and CIT's) to ensure that euro notes and coins, which they have received and which they intend to put back into circulation, are checked for authenticity and that counterfeits are detected.
The report from the Commission to the European Parliament and the Council concerning the implementation and the results of the Pericles programme for the protection of the euro against counterfeiting in 2014 was published on 19 October 2015 . It gives an overview and breakdown of the Pericles actions funded under the 2014 budget, detailing the number and types of actions funded as well as the background of the participants attending Pericles actions.
Third Regional workshop was held for two days in Cali - (Bogota, April 24, 2015) – To strengthen the fight against euro counterfeiting, a four-day mission of twelve European experts to Colombia took place between 21 and 24 April. The objective was to reinforce cooperation with Colombia’s Attorney General's Office to address the crime of illegally reproducing the European single currency.
The European Central Bank, Europol and the European Commission jointly organised the 3rd International Conference on the Protection of the Euro against Counterfeiting.
A large police operation led by the Italian Carabinieri took place on 26 November 2014 targeting an organised criminal group of euro counterfeiters operating from the Naples region. Precautionary measures – including detention and house arrests – were taken against 56 persons suspected of being part of this group.
Report from the Commission to the European Parliament and to the Council - COM(2014)551 and Annex 1 - Annex 2
Report from the Commission to the European Parliament and the Council under Article 12(5) of Regulation (EU) N°1210/2010 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 15 December 2010 concerning authentication of euro coins and handling of euro coins unfit to circulation
in one of the most sensitive regions for this crime – the Balkans. Read more…
The euro is one of the most counterfeited currencies and the target of criminals all over the world. The European Anti-Fraud Office (OLAF), which plays in important role in the protection of the single European currency, together with the National Public Prosecutor’s Office of Colombia organised a joint training seminar for members of Colombian law enforcement bodies.
An illegal mint was discovered during a late night raid of a garage in a secluded villa near Rome. Read more