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U.S., Peru Seize $30M in Counterfeit Dollars, Biggest Bust Ever

WASHINGTON — U.S. and Peruvian agents have seized a record $30 million in counterfeit dollars in the biggest netting of fake greenbacks ever by the U.S. Secret Service, the agency said on Thursday.

Image: Police officers display seized counterfeit U.S. and Nuevos Soles bills at a news conference in Lima, Peru
Police officers display seized counterfeit U.S. and Nuevos Soles bills at a news conference in Lima, Peru, November 16, 2016. The National Police seized $30 million worth of counterfeit bills, according to a police media release. GUADALUPE PARDO / Reuters

The stash was discovered when more than 1,500 Peruvian police, along with Secret Service agents, carried out searches and arrest warrants on Tuesday in Lima, the agency said in a statement.

Fifty thousand fake euros were also seized and 48 people arrested in the raids, called Operation Sunset.

Peru is the world's largest manufacturer and distributor of fake U.S. currency. Six counterfeit plants were shut down, eight manufacturing presses were seized and more than 1,600 printing plates and negatives of denominations were found, the Secret Service said.

The agency, best known for its protection of the U.S. president and visiting foreign dignitaries, was originally founded to combat currency counterfeiting.