• Germany edition
 
Fake euro coin scam uncovered
Photo: DPA

Fake euro coin scam uncovered

Published: 31 Mar 2011 08:25 GMT+02:00
Updated: 31 Mar 2011 14:21 GMT+02:00

Investigators probing a massive fraud involving fake euro coins have arrested six people in the Frankfurt area, including Lufthansa flight attendants, authorities announced Thursday.

Euro coins earmarked by the Bundesbank to be scrapped were reassembled in China, Frankfurt state prosecutor Doris Möller-Scheu said in a statement. Flight attendants allegedly smuggled them back to Germany where they were swapped for legitimate currency at the central bank.

The gang netted an estimated €6 million.

The scam involved 29 tonnes of €1 and €2 coins sent to China as scrap metal, the statement said. Before they are sold as scrap, the gold and silver parts of the coins are broken apart. But the gang stuck the parts back together and then smuggled the coins back to Germany.

The Bundesbank is the only place in Europe that exchanges damaged coins at no cost.

Five people are in custody over the scam. A sixth has already been brought before a judge. They were aged 28 to 45. Four were Chinese.

They carried 29 tonnes of coins from China to Germany between 2007 and November 2010, and four flight attendants were allegedly involved in the scam.

In a statement, Lufthansa said it had been “made aware by the responsible authorities of an investigation into individual workers. We do not comment on state prosecutors’ investigations.”

The Bundesbank in Frankfurt declined to comment for the moment. Despite initial reports that bank employees were also involved, the state prosecutor said that “no worker of the Bundesbank is under suspicion.”

Daily Bild reported that the scam came to light after a flight attendant drew attention by struggling with her heavy luggage. When customs officers opened the luggage, they found thousands of euro coins inside.

State prosecutor Doris Möller-Scheu confirmed to the paper: “An investigation for putting counterfeit money into circulation is underway against the suspects.”

The Local/DPA/djw

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Don't miss...X
Left Right

Your comments about this article

08:48 March 31, 2011 by authun
I'm sure that'll get 'em a good six months in jail. Uh, for the ringleaders. Maybe.
09:01 March 31, 2011 by Kanji
after years of trial.... :-)
09:08 March 31, 2011 by auniquecorn
a good six months in jail?

a little overkill is´nt it?
09:48 March 31, 2011 by twisted
Ahem friends, this is about MONEY and screwing the German government, not murder, rape or mayhem. Punishment for this will be big time, not a teeny 14-15 years (life in Germany).
12:00 March 31, 2011 by vivanco
They should have at-least shredded or deformed the coin before sending to china.
12:24 March 31, 2011 by mhdamro
i wonder what will happen if the same story happened in one of the New EU countries like Romania or Poland ..... !!!! Am sure the germans will all be Bi@#%ing about how these new EU's are damaging the country .... i think they should just stop stereotyping others .... buy a mirror !!!! ...... or steal one from china hehehe
13:43 March 31, 2011 by freechoice
due to cost cutting, they dun pay well at Lufthansa?
14:48 March 31, 2011 by XFYRCHIEF
Really - no one saw this coming???
16:15 March 31, 2011 by bramblebush
How do you break a coin apart and put it back together again? Do they mean smelt the metal and recast without the precious metal?
16:16 March 31, 2011 by dbert4
Does anyone at the local really read German? Their online translater in failing them..again. These aren't "fake" coins, they are the real deal that were sold as scrap and put illegally put back in circulation.

But anycase, shocking, the Chinese are usually such a "trustworthy" people!
16:41 March 31, 2011 by twisted
QUOTE But anycase, shocking, the Chinese are usually such a "trustworthy" people! UNQUOTE

Germans were a part of this scam as well so let's not just beat up on the Chinese. Besides their cooking is much better than the German "cuisine."
18:04 March 31, 2011 by Altdude
Other than in a strictly legalistic sense, what is the difference between a real and a fake coin? Are these coins gold, or just gold colored?
19:49 March 31, 2011 by xx.weirich.xx
...

-facepalm-

And they sent metal that could THAT EASILY be put back together to China WHY? They didn't mess it up even a little bit WHY?

...
23:10 March 31, 2011 by beeker
The tipoff was the little gold stickers that said MADE IN CHINA on them.

If they are assembed in a non EU country,isn't there a duty owed on them.
23:17 March 31, 2011 by wxman
The Chinese and North Koreans are famous for counterfeiting strong world currencies in an effort to bring them down economically. This is nothing new and should not be surprising.
16:00 April 1, 2011 by padu
dbert4 said "Chinese are usually such a "trustworthy" by wxman said "Chinese are famous for counterfeiting strong world currencies"

Men, are the innocent, orderly, honest and law-biding Germans part of the this crime? You guys are not under 18, right?
17:16 April 1, 2011 by Heinrich-Hammler
I don't care where they come from, I hate stinking theives.

They all end up costing you and me money.
23:53 April 2, 2011 by Zlik
The Germans did The operation coin flip in china and brought tonnes back to bundesbank thru their jobs with Luftansa.
18:30 August 21, 2013 by bugger
BUY FAKE MONEY( nfernet1@gmail.com )-EUROS,DOLLARS,POUNDS ETC -contact for details anytime-

CONTACT/

http://counterfeitmone.ucoz.com ///

http://fakemoney1.blogspot.com ///

General support: nfernet1@gmail.com /

We are the best producer of HIGH QUALITY counterfeit Banknotes and

fake documents. With over a billion of our products circulating

around the world. We offer only original high-quality

counterfeit currency NOTES and fake documents.

We offer high quality counterfeit NOTES for the following currencies;

EUR - Euro

USD - US Dollar

GBP - British Pound

INR - Indian Rupee

AUD - Australian Dollar

CAD - Canadian Dollar

AED - Emirati Dirham

ZAR - Rand

CHF - Swiss Franc

CNY - Chinese Yuan Renminbi

MYR - Malaysian Ringgit

THB - Thai Baht

To get the additional information and place your order, just visit our website or you

>> Contact e-mail/ nfernet1@gmail.com

feel free to contact via email at anytime.
Today's headlines
Ex-minister jailed over F1 race track scandal
Ingolf Deubel in court on Wednesday. Photo: DPA

Ex-minister jailed over F1 race track scandal

A former state finance minister was sentenced to three-and-a-half years in prison on Wednesday, having been found guilty of embezzling money in the scandal around the failed sale of the Nürburgring Formula One race track. READ () »

Upper Bavaria boasts lowest EU unemployment
A Bavarian worker works hard Photo: DPA

Upper Bavaria boasts lowest EU unemployment

Southern and central Bavaria have the lowest unemployment in the EU, according to figures released on Tuesday, with one business leader boasting the area has “de facto full employment”. READ () »

Thousands of tax evaders come forward to declare
Uli Hoeneß was jailed last month for tax evasion. Photo: DPA

Thousands of tax evaders come forward to declare

The number of German tax evaders who have self-declared to avoid prosecution trebled in the first quarter of 2014, figures published on Wednesday showed, with the rise put down to the "Uli Hoeneß effect". READ () »

Petition fails to remove WWII Russian tanks
One of the WWII Russian tanks near the Brandenburg Gate. Photo: DPA

Petition fails to remove WWII Russian tanks

The German government rejected on Wednesday a call by two newspapers to remove Russian tanks from a World War II memorial in central Berlin in protest against spiralling tensions in Ukraine. READ () »

Germany warns Ukraine talks must not fail
A Ukrainian policeman at a checkpoint in the eastern city of Kharkiv on Tuesday. Photo: DPA

Germany warns Ukraine talks must not fail

Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier said on Wednesday that scheduled four-way talks on the Ukraine crisis must not fail, warning of "the threat of more dead and injured". READ () »

Olympic stadium could be giant polling station
Berlin's Olympic Stadium. Photo: DPA

Olympic stadium could be giant polling station

Berlin's Olympic stadium could become the world's biggest polling station if the Turkish community gets the go-ahead to vote there in Turkey’s general elections. READ () »

The Local List
Nine ways to celebrate Easter like a German
Photo: DPA

Nine ways to celebrate Easter like a German

From rolling wheels filled with burning hay down a hill, to waiting for a fox to bring eggs, The Local List this week looks at the nine best German Easter traditions. READ () »

Biology pupils find horse in kebab meat test
Horse? Photo: DPA

Biology pupils find horse in kebab meat test

Schoolchildren in western Germany came across horse meat while testing doner kebabs in a biology experiment. It comes a year after the horse meat scandal which showed much meat on sale in Europe had been mislabelled. READ () »

Private health insurance not worth it for workers
Photo: DPA

Private health insurance not worth it for workers

Thousands of employees paying into private health insurance in Germany get poor value for money, according to consumer experts - who recommend going private for just one group of workers. READ () »

'Free range' chicken farmer tricks customers
Free range? Photo: DPA

'Free range' chicken farmer tricks customers

UPDATE: A major producer of ethically certifified meat has admitted to defrauding thousands of customers for years by passing off conventional chicken as free range. But the brand said it took swift action to deal with the case. READ () »

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Photo: Galerie Bilderwelt
Gallery
World War I in colour photos
Photo: DPA
Society
'The mafia has infiltrated every sector in Germany'
Photo: DPA
Society
JobTalk: Why you should teach English in Germany
Photo: DPA
National
330,000 sign up against TV licence fee
Photo: DPA
Hamburg
School kids hospitalized after 'porno' party
Photo: Submitted
Frankfurt
'I'll get even with my old pal Schwarzenegger'
Photo: DPA
Gallery
The week in pictures: April 5th - April 11th
Photo: DPA
Gallery
Ten great inventions you (probably) didn't know were German
Photo: J. Arthur White
Berlin
Clashes in Berlin as refugees tear down their own camp
Photo: DPA
Gallery
Munich's baby polar bears are finally named
Photo: DPA
Gallery
The 10 best German employers to work for
CurrencyFair
Sponsored Article
Why it pays to avoid banks when making overseas transfers
Advertisement:
Mr. Lodge
Sponsored Article
How to find a furnished rental in Munich
Sponsored Article
How to make a lasting impression in business
Hult International Business School
Sponsored Article
What they don't teach you at Business School
Photo: DPA
Society
Nine jobs you can only do in Germany
Photo:ESL
Sponsored Article
How to integrate successfully in Germany
Photo: DPA
Business & Money
JobTalk: All you need to know about working in Germany
Photo: DPA
Features
The Local List Archive - Your guide to all things German
National
Share news tips with The Local Germany
Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

Latest news from The Local in Sweden

More news from Sweden at thelocal.se

3,115
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd