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Reports: Peruvian clan tried to smuggle millions of fake dollars inside souvenirs

Ernesto Benavides / AFP - Getty Images

Sheets of counterfeit $50 bills seized by Peru's Department of Criminology are presented to the press in Lima on Wednesday.

Peruvian police have seized $2.3 million in counterfeit dollars, which a family clan planned to smuggle into the United States hidden inside souvenirs from the Andean country, reports said.

According to the British Broadcasting Corp., which cited Peruvian police chief Raul Salazar, the Quispe Rodriguez family clan was responsible for the production of the fake $50 bills.

U.S. officials have said that Peru is the largest foreign producer of counterfeit American money.

Authorities in Peru have seized $17 million in fake currency in 2012 alone, according to the BBC.

Salazar said Luis Alfredo Obando, a man allegedly belonging to the Quispe Rodriguez family clan, was arrested, the BBC said.

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The money and materials for the production of the fake money were seized in the Peruvian capital, Lima, the BBC reported.

Other members of the Quispe Rodriguez clan were arrested in mid-July with $2 million in fake U.S. dollars and 1.5 million counterfeit euros, the Peruvian Times reported.

Among the members of the family allegedly used in the smuggling operation was a 13-year-old boy, the newspaper said.

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According to a 2009 report in the Los Angeles Times, many counterfeit currency smugglers use techniques also employed by drug gangs, such as hiding the fake money on human "mules" to get the fake paper inside the country.

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"It's a form of economic terrorism," the Los Angeles Times quoted John Large, the assistant special agent in charge of the Secret Service's criminal division, as saying at the time.

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