In Italy, Counterfeiting With Artisanal Care – NYTimes.com

GIUGLIANO IN CAMPANIA, Italy — While Europe’s financial overlords debate the wisdom of spurring growth by letting the European Central Bank print more money, some enterprising sorts in this semi-urban sprawl northwest of Naples are taking matters into their own hands and printing reams of counterfeit euros.

The Campania region of southern Italy is known for its sunny skies, fresh mozzarella and organized crime, but it has a different kind of cottage industry that accounts for more than half of the 550,000 to 800,000 fake euro notes pulled from circulation annually by European central banks.

Italy appears to have a particular artisanal flair for the printing arts, even though the authorities have also found illicit euro operations in France, Spain, Eastern Europe and South America. Its most accomplished practitioners can be found in and around Giugliano, where concrete-block apartments abut orchards and car dealerships, and young African prostitutes stand amid the rushes on unkempt roads.

“In Italy, there’s a great, ancient and august tradition: Here, they make fake money, done well,” said Col. Alessandro Gentili, the head of the Italian Carabinieri’s Currency Anticounterfeiting Unit in Rome. “Giugliano is still the capital. It has the best professionals.”

Quite a number of them, as it turns out. When the police rolled up some of the counterfeiting operations around Giugliano as well as in the Calabria region farther south in January 2009, they raided 162 locations and arrested 109 people, seizing a mountain of illicit materials.

Despite that raid, the biggest in years, Colonel Gentili says the counterfeiting continues, a tradition that — like winemaking, pottery, fabrics and other fine arts for which Italy is justly famous — is often passed from father to son.

via In Italy, Counterfeiting With Artisanal Care – NYTimes.com.

Strange Random Counterfeiting Quote:

“Men make counterfeit money; in many more cases, money makes counterfeit men.” – Sydney J. Harris (American Journalist and Author, He wrote a syndicated column, Strictly Personal, from 1944-86)

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Posted on May 1, 2012, in Article and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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