Two Greek businessmen were put before a Samos public prosecutor on Friday as suspects in a case involving one million euro in counterfeit bills discovered by port authorities on the island. The two men, aged 43 and 46 years old, respectively, were given until Monday morning to prepare their testimony.
The two are considered accomplices of a 26-year-old New Guinea national that was arrested on Thursday, after he was caught carrying counterfeit notes with a nominal value of one million euro in his luggage, during a random spot check at Samos’ Vatheos harbour.
The 26-year-old had just got off the ferry boat “Ierapetra”, and authorities believe that he intended to distribute the counterfeit bills on the island.
Authorities reported the discovery of fake notes amounting to 108,000 euro – mostly as bills in 50, 100 and 500 euro denominations – that were ready to use immediately. There were also fake notes amounting to 890,000 euro that needed further processing with chemicals in order to pass as genuine. Coast guard officers and police are now searching for the workshop where this further processing would have been carried out.
The discovery of the counterfeit bills launched a joint and ongoing investigation by Samos harbour authorities and the police, who are trying to uncover other accomplices of the three or any other crimes they may be connected with.
According to Samos authorities, this is the greatest quantity of counterfeit money that has ever been intercepted on the island.