Bulgarian authorities have seized counterfeit money worth millions printed at a university during a series of raids in the capital Sofia. Notes worth €3.6m (£3m) and $4m (£2.9m) were found in a joint operation by police and the US Secret Service.
A man and a woman, including an employee of the printworks were arrested, prosecutors said on Tuesday. The seizure could be one of the largest hauls ever made in the country, Bulgaria’s chief prosecutor said. A printing machine and other equipment used to print money was also seized, AP news agency reports.
“We have data indicating that the detained are part of a larger scheme linked with the trafficking of counterfeit US dollar bills to Ukraine and the fake euros to western Europe,” Lubomir Yanev, the interior ministry’s unit for combating organised crime said during a news briefing.
He added that the money, which was of a “relatively good” quality, was made outside regular working hours and on weekends.
Sofia police chief Georgy Hadzhiev did not give the name of the university and said there was no evidence that its authorities knew about the operation. It is the second time this year that officers have teamed up with the US Secret Service to locate counterfeit money.
Last January, authorities charged four people after seizing counterfeit money and printing equipment in 30 locations across the country during an operation by Europol and the Secret Service, Reuters news agency reports. In 2016, police divers discovered €13m in fake bank notes hidden in a reservoir.