Two Brazilians – a man and a woman – suspected of being part of an international document forgery ring were arrested in Portugal.
According to authorities, they sold the counterfeits on the dark web and charged Bitcoin to make it difficult to track transactions.
They were detained on wednesday by Portuguese authorities.
In the operation, the police seized hundreds of false documents considered to be of high quality.
In addition, it found special printers, stamps, stamps and computers used in the frauds.
“We have information that this was one of the most relevant seizures made in recent years in Europe, in view of the production capacity and the diversification of documents that were being produced,” said Cristina Gatões. She is the director of the Foreigners and Borders Service (SEF), the body responsible for immigration in Portugal.
Still according to Folha, investigations into the gang started in 2018, by the UK police.
However, they were expanded to international levels after the authorities unraveled parts of the scheme.
The Federal Police of Brazil collaborated with the investigations alongside Europol (European police).
Documents were sold for 10,000 euros in Bitcoin.
Due to the potential risk of escape and high mobility of the persons involved, the Portuguese authorities decided to arrest them.
According to the investigation, the group sold the documents on the dark web for 10 thousand euros (about R $ 65 thousand) each. Payment for counterfeits was made in Bitcoin.
The fraudulent documents were destined for several countries in the world:
“In the course of this investigation, it was possible to ascertain that the fraudulent documentation was marketed online and sent via postal service to countries such as the United Kingdom, France, Luxembourg, Portugal, the Netherlands, Brazil and the United States,” explained the SEF director.
She pointed out that the documents were of high quality and the largest one was made up of Portuguese passports.
But, depending on demand, the gang forged documents from other segments and other nationalities too.