Bulgarian Prime Minister Boyko Borisov was presented with a special award from Europol this weekend for his role in eliminating a counterfeit ring earlier this month.
The counterfeiters, who were set up in a small shop near a pig farm in Central Bulgaria, possessed highly sophisticated forging equipment and were printing fake euro and US dollar banknotes.
The case was a high-profile one for both the Bulgarian government and Europol. Police had been on the lookout for this particular printing press – believed to be owned an operated by a criminal ring – for over six years.
“The award that Borisov got is a special symbol of the cooperation and joint efforts and our determination to fight corruption and organized crime,” said the Europol director, who also gave special letters of recognition to Interior Minister Tsvetan Tsvetanov and Chief Secretary of the Interior Kalin Georgiev.
According to Tsvetanov, the counterfeiters printed bills for 24 countries, including France, Germany, Spain, and Italy totaling nearly EUR1.5 M in forged banknotes. Police seized a total of EUR80,000 and USD27,500 in the raid on the printing shop Friday.
The euro contains many security features to avoid counterfeiting, such as holograms, security threads, watermarks and raised printing.
Recently, the United States announced a new line of banknotes with high-tech security features such as 3D holograms.