Offering any product or service on the darknet can be a very risky business. This is especially true when trying to bring illegal goods to consumers, such as drugs, guns, or even counterfeit goods. In Poland, one of the most prolific darknet vendors of counterfeit goods has been arrested. His main business revolves around selling fake euro notes to customers across Europe.
Counterfeit Currency on the Darknet
A lot of things can be bought and sold on the darknet these days. Although most media headlines tend to focus on the sale of drugs and guns, other threats should not be overlooked either. Counterfeit goods are also commonly listed on marketplaces, although they can span a wide variety of products. Counterfeit fiat currency, for example, is one of the biggest issues to watch out for at all times.
One recent investigation in Poland outlines how such vendors operate on a daily basis. One vendor of counterfeit euro bills has been arrested earlier this month. He is suspected of selling fake Euro notes on the darknet for several years. It is not uncommon for such vendors to operate for year son end, even though Europol is coordinating a Europe-wide crackdown on such activity these days.
Together with the Gdansk Bureau of the Polish Central Bureau of Investigation, Europol coordinated the arrest of this individual. A large-scale counterfeit operation has been identified in Poland, although it took some time to effectively discover who was responsible for this particular trend. Not too many details have been shared with the public at this time, albeit it would appear Austrian authorities were involved in this investigation as well.
One thing that sets this vendor apart is how his counterfeit notes are of extremely high quality. Again, this is not uncommon among darknet vendors, as creating counterfeit fiat currency notes is not necessarily as difficult as most people might think. It is interesting to note how most of these bills ended up in Austria, as that has become a rather common trend in the world of counterfeit money lately.
It is quite interesting to note how counterfeit currency vendors all seem to focus on the same region first and foremost. Cash seems to be losing a lot of popularity in most European countries, yet it remains one of the bigger markets for fake bills. It is possible this is because it is easier to fake euro bills compared to Dollars or Pounds, albeit that is very difficult to say for certain.
This arrest is another example of how engaging in illegal activity on the darknet will be punished sooner or later. There is nothing wrong with using the darknet itself for legitimate purposes, yet manufacturing fake currency and selling it is not something that will go by unnoticed or unpunished for very long. It is unclear which charges the arrested individual faces, although it is expected he distributed over 10,000 fake euro notes in recent years.