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Italy’s Mafia Uses the Old Lira as Its Own Parallel Currency

  • Police say criminal organizations settling deals with lira
  • Currency was replaced by euro notes and coins in 2002

Italy’s proposed mini T-Bills may be pie in the sky for now, but it appears the country already has another currency floating around -- the old lira.

A senior police officer revealed this week that domestic criminal organizations are still using the pre-euro currency for illicit transactions. It’s not clear how the former notes are ultimately exchanged for euros, if at all, though he said officers are still uncovering them. The lira ceased to be legal tender at the end of February 2002.