Police assisted by U.S. Secret Service agents on Sunday broke up a network capable of printing millions of dollars a month of excellent quality counterfeit money and arrested five suspects.
Nearly US$3 million in fake 100 dollar bills was seized during the raid in Dagua, a village nestled in Andean foothills some 300 kilometers (190 miles) southwest of the capital, Bogota, said Eduardo Fernandez, head of the DAS police agency in Valle del Cauca state.
Fernandez said the fake money was being sent to neighboring Ecuador and Central American countries where the dollar has been adopted as legal tender, as well as to the United States.
Fernandez said Valle del Cauca, of which Cali is the state capital, has turned into a center of global counterfeiting. "Entire families are dedicated to falsifying and trafficking money."
Sunday's operation was the result of a lengthy investigation by Colombian authorities and the U.S. Secret Service. Colombia is believed to produce more than 40 percent of fake money circulating around the world, AP reports.