Bulgarian ID fakers use Stallone image on advertising

A gang of counterfeiters in Bulgaria used a fake passport in the name of the Hollywood actor Sylvester Stallone to advertise their services, according to local media reports.

Prosecutors said the Rocky actor’s image was used “as an example of the high quality of their workmanship” in creating counterfeit identity papers including passports and driving licenses. The mockup gave Stallone Bulgarian nationality.

The counterfeit passport was of a very high quality, with most of the security features perfectly falsified, according to Europol, which assisted the Bulgarian police in the enforcement operation along with the US Secret Service.

Six arrest have been made in connection with the counterfeit operation, which also targeted currency, with nine other people detained for questioning.

Police dismantled one print shop counterfeiting currency in a Bulgarian seaside resort and two print shops forging documents situated near the Bulgarian cities Plovdiv and Shumen. They also seized counterfeit €50, €100 and €500 banknotes worth around €775,000 ($931,000).

The investigation uncovered that some of the suspected members of this organised crime group were connected to another one previously busted in 2018. The suspects were using the same location where the Bulgarian authorities found the print shop dismantled in 2018.

The bust took place on the same day that the Romanian authorities dismantled another sophisticated euro counterfeiting operation, seizing €450,000-worth of fake notes.

Both operations took place after the European Central Bank (ECB) reported a historic dip in counterfeits of euro banknotes, down almost 18 per cent in 2020 compared to the prior year.

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