Forgers targeted Olympic Games

Greek and Cypriot police have broken an Athens-based gang that used the most sophisticated printing setups ever found in Greece to produce thousands of fake dollar bills ahead of the 2004 Olympics. Brigadier Vassilis Tsiatouras, Attica’s security police chief, told journalists that two Cypriots, an ethnic Greek from the former Soviet Union and a veteran Nea Philadelphia printer have been arrested and charged with forgery. Tsiatouras said the suspects had initially floated their counterfeit 100-dollar bills in Cyprus and Greece, and were planning to flood Athens with forged currency during the Olympics, when hundreds of thousands of foreign visitors are expected. In a raid on a printer’s workshop at 22 Ionias St in Nea Philadelphia owned by Ioannis Kousoulis, 60, police seized two metal blocks, special paper and inks, computers and printers (for adding serial numbers), 188 cut and hundreds of uncut 100-dollar bills. A further 1,700 bills were found on the other suspects.