The FINANCIAL — Under the direction of the French and Italian authorities, and with the support of Eurojust and Europol, 22 arrests by the French Judicial Police and the Italian Carabinieri took place on 16 October in France and Italy. Two criminal networks suspected of producing and distributing counterfeit banknotes in France and Italy were dismantled.
In February 2018, the French investigative judge of Nancy requested the assistance of Eurojust in a counterfeiting case, after the French National Police received a tip about distribution of fake banknotes. Investigations led to a euro counterfeiting production site in Naples, Italy. The organised criminal group (OCG) produced counterfeit EUR 20, 50 and 100 banknotes. The banknotes were then distributed in France via another OCG.
Two coordination meetings were held at Eurojust between France and Italy. At the second coordination meeting, in May, a joint investigation team (JIT) agreement was signed, the first JIT agreement between the two Member States. Eurojust provided the necessary financial and logistical support for this JIT to help coordinate the parallel investigations. The JIT was decisive in the success of this action.
On the 16 October action day, French police were active in Italy, and Italian police were active in France. Nine suspects were arrested in France, and nine premises were searched. In Italy, 13 suspects were arrested, five in execution of European Arrest Warrants, and printing and digital equipment was seized.