SOFIA (Reuters) – Bulgaria has seized more than $1.35 million in fake banknotes and charged three men suspected with membership of an organised crime ring making counterfeit bills, prosecutors said on Monday.
The three were arrested in the Black Sea city of Varna after printing presses and equipment for the production of counterfeit banknotes were found following searches at several locations.
Last month, Bulgarian authorities raided a printing shop – the largest discovered in 11 years – that was churning out counterfeit cash, and seized fake euro and dollar bills worth more than $14.3 million.
The formerly communist, now European Union-member country hopes to join the euro zone and the EU’s open-border Schengen travel zone, but first needs to show it is serious about curbing widespread organised crime and corruption.
(Reporting by Angel Krasimirov; Editing by Mark Heinrich)