June 22 (Bloomberg) -- A Peruvian man was detained by the U.S. Secret Service and authorities in Lima on charges of printing millions of dollars in counterfeit U.S. currency.
Police arrested Pedro Sosa Inca Casana, 42, on June 20 as he was getting out of a taxi with a pack of $1.93 million in fake bills, the Peruvian police’s criminal investigation division said in a statement.
They seized a total of $4.5 million, a press, ink cartridges and other printing materials at a downtown Lima store that served as a front for the counterfeiting operation, police said. The U.S. government sees Peru as a hotspot of counterfeiting.
The investigation is continuing, police said, declining to provide further details.
The Secret Service said that Casana had been under investigation since at least May.
The counterfeiting operation is typical of those discovered outside the U.S. that involve sizable “counterfeiting mills” which churn out millions of fake bills, mostly $100s. In the U.S., the majority of counterfeiting is done on home computers and printers.
The Secret Service has seized $16.3 million in Peru and assisted in the arrests of 19 Peruvian citizens during the fiscal year ending Sept. 30.
During that same time period, the Secret Service says it seized $71.5 million in fake currency overseas and $84.5 million in the U.S.
“This investigation addresses the continuing economic threats to our country and illustrates how well established law enforcement networks work together to disrupt international organized crime each day,” U.S. Secret Service Director Julia Pierson said in a statement.
To contact the editors responsible for this story: Brendan Walsh at firstname.lastname@example.org Brendan Murray, Andrea Snyder