Counterfeit Criminals Caught Red Handed With CHF 5 Million Fake Franks and 300Kg of Cannibis

Counterfeit Criminals Caught Red Handed With CHF 5 Million Fake Franks and 300Kg of Cannibis

Mon, Mar 25th 2024

Two Swiss men face charges for a bold attempt at circulating fake 50-dollar bills, unearthing a professional counterfeiting setup and illicit drugs trade.


The Office of the Attorney General of Switzerland has brought charges of attempted counterfeiting against two Swiss nationals. The two were caught in the act, printing counterfeit 50-dollar notes that they had intended to put into circulation.

The accused, a 72-year-old man from the canton of Thurgau and a 49-year-old man from the canton of Aargau, have to answer to the Federal Criminal Court, according to the Office of the Attorney General of Switzerland on Monday.

A police inspection of a production facility for legal CBD hemp in Urdorf ZH in November 2022 led to the trail of the counterfeiters. According to the Office of the Attorney General of Switzerland, there was suspicion that the illegal drug marijuana, hemp with a THC content above limit – was also being produced at this facility.

The police therefore searched the premises in Urdorf as well as locations in the cantons of Thurgau and Aargau. Almost 300 kilograms of prohibited cannabis products of the drug hemp type were seized in Urdorf, as well as equipment for the cultivation and processing of drug hemp.

In Urdorf, the police caught the two defendants in the act of printing counterfeit money – semi-finished products worth around eight million US dollars were discovered. The men are said to have planned to put counterfeit 50-dollar notes with a face value of at least five million US dollars into circulation.

Investments of Over 130,000 Francs

The two Swiss nationals are accused of attempting to produce counterfeit money. The younger man also faces charges of violating the Narcotics Act and an offence against the Weapons Act.

According to the indictment, the two are alleged to have set up and operated a highly professionally equipped counterfeiting workshop in the younger man’s business premises from mid-November 2021. The younger man invested over 130,000 francs in this project.

The older man, a trained letterpress and offset printer, contributed his expertise. He is said to have been responsible for ordering the necessary printing machines, equipment and materials as well as for producing the counterfeit 50-dollar notes.

The investigations revealed that the two wanted to produce the most perfect forgeries possible. They had continuously improved the individual printing steps, wrote the Office of the Attorney General. When they were uncovered during the house search, they were busy with the final printing process.

Helpers Convicted by Final Judgment

According to the indictment, the accused had already decided how their counterfeit money was to be distributed. The younger one would have put the self-printed notes into circulation and paid the older one a “wage” of at least 500,000 “laundered” francs.

Two other people have already been convicted in connection with the attempted counterfeiting of money, by summary penalty order and for aiding and abetting attempted counterfeiting.


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