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$30 Million in Counterfeit U.S. Currency Seized in Historical Secret Service Operation

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U.S. Secret Service Media Relations
Published Date
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WASHINGTON – Today, the Secret Service announces the success of the largest operational seizure of counterfeit currency in the history of the agency.

OPERATION SUNSET is the culmination of an intense global investigation involving six Peruvian-based criminal organizations. Peru is the world’s largest manufacturer and distributor of counterfeit U.S. currency.

On Nov. 15, 2016, the Peruvian government, along with U.S. Secret Service Agents, executed pre-dawn search and arrest warrants in Lima, Peru. More than 1,500 Peruvian National Police officers were involved in the operation. A total of 54 search warrants were conducted and 48 people were arrested.

Thirty million counterfeit U.S. dollars and 50,000 Euros were discovered during the operation. Additionally six counterfeit plants were suppressed, eight counterfeit manufacturing presses seized and over 1,600 printing plates and negatives of varying denominations were found.

“The Peruvian government has become a valuable partner in our efforts to combat counterfeit currency,” said Secret Service Director Joseph Clancy. “Protecting the nation’s financial infrastructure is a vital component of our integrated mission of protection and investigations.”

The U.S. Secret Service opened a Resident Office in Lima in an effort to combat the widespread counterfeit activity and to also offer support and training to the Peruvian National Police. An anti-Counterfeiting Task Force was created and Peruvian officers were trained at Secret Service training facilities.

General Vicente Romero Fernandez, Director Peruvian National Police, praised the assistance and valuable relationship with the Secret Service during a press conference in Lima on November 16.

About the United States Secret Service

The United States Secret Service was originally founded in 1865 for the purpose of suppressing the counterfeiting of U.S. currency. Now an agency within the Department of Homeland Security, the Secret Service is widely known for its protective mission in safeguarding the nation’s highest elected officials, visiting foreign dignitaries and events of national significance. Today, the Secret Service maintains a unique integrated mission of protection and investigations, as one of the premier law enforcement organizations charged with investigating cyber and financial crimes.