Behind the big windows Wholesale Market warehouses, in the south of Quito, counterfeit bills of USD 5, 10, 20, 50 and even 100 are exhibited. Food and vegetables stalls, however, exhibit small signs with this phrase “all counterfeit bill will be punched.”
In addition, each trader has a special marker that allows to verify that the money is genuine. This is how they prevent that suspects deceive them, because criminal gangs dedicated to laundering counterfeit money operate in markets. This is corroborated by agents of the Judicial Police who have conducted investigations.
They say that “behind this crime there are international mafias coming from Peru and Colombia” that try to introduce illegal dollars into the financial system of the country.
In fact, this year, the counterfeit money that has entered through the Ecuadorian border has exceeded up to eight times more the money that has been confiscated over the past 4 years. According to the police, between 2011 and 2015, the country’s financial system detected $ 2.5 counterfeit million. And so far this year about US $ 20 million have been confiscated.