The Euro: Bonanza for Organized Crime

By De Borchgrave, Arnaud | The Washington Times (Washington, DC), September 4, 2001 | Go to article overview

The Euro: Bonanza for Organized Crime


De Borchgrave, Arnaud, The Washington Times (Washington, DC)


Byline: Arnaud de Borchgrave

As the world economy teeters on the brink of what is now being called the first synchronized global downturn since the 1980s, the European Union is about to take a plunge that could either pull it back or push it over. The introduction of a common currency for 12 of the EU's 15 member countries is now only four months away.

The first to seize the opportunity of the biggest financial transaction of all time were transnational crime syndicates. A sizeable amount of their ill-gotten gains in recent years were kept liquid in a variety of national currencies. Banks might have questioned their provenance. To avoid embarrassing questions during the switchover to Euros, they moved these countless billions to the United States to be converted at a slight loss into dollars. European bankers concede privately this was one of the reasons for the dollar's sharp rise last spring and summer vis a vis European currencies. Europol, EU's criminal investigation unit, reckons much of this will flow back into Euros when the new currency is up and running at the stroke of midnight Jan. 1, 2002.

International crime organizations are already busy counterfeiting Euros. Afghan crime bosses in Quetta and Pershawar, respectively the capitals of Pakistan's Baluchistan and Northwest provinces, produce the best dollar counterfeits. They use ultra sophisticated offset printing presses and $50,000 laser scanners-cum-color copying machines to churn out hard-to-detect fakes. They have fooled many experts. Recently these machines began running off Euros, too. Phony $100 bills are common currency in the "stans," the former Soviet republics of Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Kyrgistan and Kazakhstan. Russians invariably pay cash for real estate in the choice watering spots of the world. Soon fake Euros will be flooding a wide variety of developing nations where they will be eagerly embraced. Interpol, Europol and Britain's National Criminal Intelligence Service believe the Euro will soon replace the dollar as the crime syndicates' currency of choice. The 500 Euro note ($460) - the new currency's highest denomination - will be Europe's most valuable bill, except for Germany's 1,000 mark note that is about to be retired. One million Euros will fit into a smaller case than the one needed to carry $1 million. Europol believes the big Euro bill will quickly displace the $100 note for transnational crime syndicates. Many of the criminal groups in the flesh trade - some 250,000 underage girls and young women are moved from the former Soviet republics, Eastern Europe and Asia to Western countries every year - prefer to cash-and-carry their profits than to transfer them electronically, which is subject to government snooping.

As Europeans turn in their marks, francs, pesetas, liras and drachmas for Euros, counterfeiters will have a field day as few besides banks will be able to spot the fakes.(spade)

Three years ago, organized crime managed to abscond with a two-pound package that contained the European Central Bank's secret weapon to combat the counterfeiters. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

The Euro: Bonanza for Organized Crime
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.