Police bust Israeli gang forming mass counterfeiting ring

Authorities arrest five suspects after months of police surveillance.

By
April 20, 2015 22:15
1 minute read.
Counterfeit coins

Counterfeit coins. (photo credit: POLICE SPOKESPERSON'S UNIT)

 
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Five Israelis conspired to launch a mass counterfeiting operation capable of making as much as a half a million shekels worth of fake 10-shekel coins in a single day, police reported on Monday.

The five suspects – four men and a woman from central Israel in their 40s and 50s – were arrested by police on Sunday afternoon after months of surveillance by police. The suspects include the alleged ringleader and his partner, with whom he lives along with their two children and a third child from her previous marriage.

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Three of the suspects, including the woman, were arrested at their homes, while two others were caught in the act at the counterfeiting laboratory in central Israel on Sunday.

Police said that the laboratory was set up inside a building where the suspects had stockpiled a large amount of raw materials for producing the coins as well as the machines necessary to stamp out 10-shekel pieces.

They added that the ring planned to sell the pieces on the black market and to spend them themselves.

Counterfeit 10-shekel pieces are fairly common and are much easier to fake than Israeli bills.

The Rishon Lezion Magistrate’s Court on Monday ordered that two of the suspects be kept in custody for seven days and the other two suspects until Wednesday.

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