he fake money produced by the gang was good enough to pass through ATMs and other machines undetected, Spanish police said. The banknotes were distributed in several countries.

Police in SpainItaly and Greece have dismantled a criminal organization of Pakistani origin that has produced and distributed over €1 million ($1.1 million) in counterfeit €100 notes. The authorities arrested 14 people, including the ringleaders of the operation.

Spanish police said on Saturday that the arrests were made in the cities of Barcelona, Rome and Naples.

The police launched their investigation last November after a large number of counterfeit notes were discovered in Barcelona. A gang distributed the notes in Italy, France, Greece and Spain, police said. 

Authorities also said the fake money was passing through ATMs and other devices undetected.

“The banknotes produced by the organization were made by hand, were very high quality, as they used special inks, watermarks and different elements designed to circumvent the detection mechanisms,” said Spanish National Police spokeswoman Elisa Rebolo.

Police said they arrested distributors at Barcelona’s airport and at the city’s bus station. They were carrying €70,000 in counterfeit notes.

How did the gang operate?

According to information gathered by police officers across several nations, the gang maintained different, independent offices in various countries, each of them tasked with different parts of the process.

For example, the production of counterfeit banknotes was carried out by a group based in the center of Naples. To evade the police, the group later moved to Rieti, a municipality near Rome.

Another group was responsible for transporting large quantities of counterfeit notes to the moving cells that planted them, including the one discovered in Barcelona.

On February 13, based on information gathered during the investigation, police in Spain, Italy and Greece carried out a simultaneous operation in each country.

Spanish and Italian authorities issued European arrest warrants for other persons suspected of producing and placing the banknotes.

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