July 18, 2020

FRANCE: French Movie Superstar Catherine Deneuve's Grandson Was Arrested Wednesday In Police Swoop On Huge Mafia Counterfeiting Operation Nerone, After The Roman Emperor Nero.

Daily Mail, UK
written by Peter Allen in Paris and Harry Howard
Friday July 17, 2020

The grandson of French film star Catherine Deneuve and the late director Roger Vadim has been arrested following a police swoop on a multi-million pound counterfeit money racket run by the Italian Mafia.

Igor Vadim, 32, was on Friday in custody in a secure police station in Paris, where he grew up in one of the most famous celebrity families in France.

He was arrested on Wednesday in the Charente-Martime department, north of Bordeaux, and now faces extradition to Italy and the possibility of trial and prison for helping to flood Europe with fake €50 notes.

'Igor Vadim is one of three people taken into custody in France as part of a police clampdown on the Camorra crime syndicate,' said an investigating source.

'There were 44 arrests in total, with 40 of them taking place in Italy. The one other arrest was in Belgium,' the source added.

Operation Nerone – after the Roman Emperor Nero – saw coordinated raids launched on those suspected of working for Camorra, an ancient secret society originating in the Italian region of Campania, and specifically its capital, Naples.

A Camorra Mafia clan specialising in counterfeiting was targeted by Europol, the EU police agency based in Holland.

It led to the seizure of fake cash worth around £9million – a figure that is thought to be a fraction of what the racket was worth.

Real cash with a value of around £7.5million and unspecified goods worth some £9million were also seized by Europol officers.

Beyond Vadim, the others arrested in France were an unidentified Franco-Italian and an Italian national, one of whom is said to be at the top of the Camorra crime syndicate.

ร‰ric Bertand, of France's Central Office for the Suppression of Counterfeiting Currency (OCRFM), said the 40 people arrested in Italy included some from Naples, who were mainly dealing in €50 notes.

'For the past few years, ninety per cent of high-quality counterfeit money has come from Italy and La Camorra has a sort of patent on this market,' said Mr Bertrand.

Other investigating sources said each €50 note cost around 30 cents (27p) to make, and it then sold off for €7 (£6.30) a note, ensuring massive mark-ups.

A spokesman for prosecutors and police in Benevento, near Naples, said the investigation started in October 2017 after 'numerous seizures of counterfeit 50 euro notes' in the city, and area.

He said the network produced 'excellent quality notes using extremely sophisticated printing methods.

Paper was not watermarked, but still looked remarkably like the real thing, both in terms of 'sight and feel', said the spokesman.

Vadim is extremely close to his grandmother Deneuve, the 76-year-old star of films such as The Last Metro, Belle de Jour and The Umbrellas of Cherbourg.

He is the son of Christian Vadim, who in turn is the 57-year-old son of Catherine Deneuve and her former lover Roger Vadim, who directed classics including And God Created Woman, starring Brigitte Bardot, whom Vadim later married.

Vadim's other wives included the American star Jane Fonda and Danish actress Annette Strรธyberg.

Igor Vadim's mother is Hortense Divetain, the 51-year-old comedy writer, and he has been known to use her surname too.

There was no initial comment from Vadim's immediate family about his arrest.
Europol Press Release
written by Staff
Friday July 17, 2020

The criminal network dismantled in Italy produced 25% of all counterfeit euro banknotes in circulation.

Law enforcement authorities from Italy, Belgium and France, supported by Europol, dismantled an organised crime network involved in euro counterfeiting.

On the action day on 15 July 2020, officers from the Italian Carabinieri Corps (Carabinieri) and its specialised Anti-Counterfeit Currency Unit arrested 44 suspects and froze criminal assets worth €8 million in Italy.

Asset recovery measures taken so far during the overall operation in Italy include the confiscation of 50 apartments, 8 business premises, 2 farms, 10 companies operating in various sectors, 12 vehicles, 1 luxurious boat and 22 bank accounts, all with an estimated total value of approximately €8 million.

Inquiries started in October 2017 with the seizure of €50 banknotes in the province of the Italian city Benevento. Forensic examination of the banknotes confirmed that the counterfeits were produced using sophisticated printing methods, which requires both a high-level of technical expertise and good quality of machinery and raw materials. The counterfeiters imitated all main security features of genuine euro banknotes. The criminal network is believed to have produced and distributed over the years more than three million counterfeit banknotes for a total face value of over €233 million, which represents one quarter of all counterfeit euro banknotes detected in circulation since the introduction of the euro. This network could very well be the largest ever disrupted since the very first days of the euro currency.

The mastermind behind the criminal organisation has been involved in currency counterfeiting for more than 20 years. He had not only established the whole network in charge of the production of counterfeit euros and other currencies, but also organised their dissemination on the European market. The investigation uncovered links to the Italian criminal network, the Camorra. Other criminal affiliates sought new distribution channels in Italy and abroad.

In Naples in February 2018, preliminary investigations resulted in the seizure of almost 450 000 counterfeit €50 and €100 banknotes for a total face value of €41 million, found hidden in barrels. In July 2018, an illegal mint shop of 50-euro cent coins was also dismantled in the Italian province of Lombardy. Four suspects were arrested during these action days.

At the same time, simultaneous actions coordinated by Europol took place in France and Belgium. Europol supported the operation by facilitating the exchange of information, providing analytical support and coordinating harmonised law enforcement actions in different Member States. During the raid, Europol deployed an expert to Italy to cross-check operational information against Europol’s databases in real time and provide specialised knowledge in euro counterfeiting on-the-spot.

No comments: