The U.S. Secret Service in conjunction with Peruvian law enforcement agencies seized $30 million in counterfeit money in its biggest haul of fake cash ever, the agency said in a statement Thursday.
The bust was the culmination of Operation Sunset, a worldwide investigation focused on six criminal organizations based in Peru, known as the largest distributor of counterfeit U.S. cash, Business Insider reported.
Agents discovered the stash after they conducted 54 search warrants in a pre-dawn operation that led to the arrest of 48 people in Lima, according to the agency.
The agents also found 50,000 fake euros, shut down six counterfeit plants, seized eight counterfeit-manufacturing presses, and found more than 1,600 printing plates and negatives of different denominations, the Secret Service said.
“The Peruvian government has become a valuable partner in our efforts to combat counterfeit currency,” Joseph Clancy, the director of the Secret Service, said in a statement. “Protecting the nation’s financial infrastructure is a vital component of our integrated mission of protection and investigations.”
The agency, which is best known for protecting the U.S. president and visiting foreign dignitaries, was originally founded to combat counterfeiting of currency.
The agency opened an office in Lima to support the Peruvian National Police in combating fake currency in the nation.
The two countries are on a joint anti-Counterfeiting Task Force, and Peruvian police have received training from the Secret Service.
Peru is also known for its production of cocaine.
In 2014, Peru was the world’s second largest producer of coca, the plant from which cocaine is made, behind Colombia.