The numbers of fake notes taken out of circulation is the second highest since the introduction of euro bills and coins in 2002.
The €50 note proved the most popular to counterfeiters, with 60 percent of registered forgeries. Less lucrative fake coins accounted for only three percent of counterfeit money overall.
Some 90 percent of the counterfeit notes had already found their way into banks, stores and places of business according to data by the German central bank, since the majority of people are unable to spot the fakes.
According to the BKA, the quality of the forgeries has also been on the rise, with “accurate reproductions of security markings such as watermarks, holograms and micro-printing being produced.”
Investigations have unearthed counterfeiting operations in Italy and Bulgaria, which both have seen increasing fake euro production over the past five years according to the BKA.