Nine people, including two children, have been arrested in Murcia and Ciudad Real for running a fake 200-euro-note racket including the production and distribution of the counterfeit bank notes. The joint operation between the National Police and the Catalan equivalent of the Guardia Civil, the Mossos d’Esquadra, started in February with reports of fake notes appearing around Spain.

The notes came into circulation when the gang members went shopping and paid for an item using a genuine banknote and then they would ask for it back, saying that they remembered that they had smaller change. Having taken the genuine note back they apologised as they had spent the smaller change and re-offered what the shopkeepers assumed was the original checked note, but in fact it was a counterfeit one which the scammers assumed would not be checked again.

Officers say that notes with a face value of 250 thousand euros had already got into the system before the gang were rounded up. It’s another successful operation against counterfeiting for the authorities, as back in July, one of the biggest counterfeit note operations ever seen in Spain saw a 60-year-old man arrested in San Pedro del Pinatar, with fake euro notes to the value of one and a half million discovered inside his home, as well all the equipment to print them.

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