Peru is the number one producer of counterfeit US dollars in the world. In 2015, just over 16 million forged bills seized in the US were of Peruvian origin, according to the US Secret Service. Millions of counterfeit euros and Peruvian soles have also been seized by police in Peru.
The forged dollars are finished by hand, giving them an exceptional quality which has earned the country its top spot as leader of this illicit global trade. And for the criminal gangs counterfeit money is cheaper to produce than cocaine.
In this excerpt from ‘Lima’s Fake Dollars,’ VICE News meets a counterfeiter who goes through the final techniques used to make forged $20 bills look believable.