Mafia country, counterfeiting currency

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Back in the late 70s when I was a grad student in physics I gave a paper in Pisa and then in Bari.  The differences between Pisa and Bari were very clear – Pisa – Northern Italy, very European and industrialized, Bari, South of Italy, very agricultural and very Mediterranean – the one thing that stuck in my memory though was how distrustful the people in Bari were of strangers. I asked our host at the University of Bari and he said “well of course, this is Mafia country, they ARE suspicious of strangers, you never know…”

Italian police say they’ve made 96 arrests after busting a European counterfeiting and money laundering ring. Most of the arrests were made in southern Italy’s Calabria and Campania regions.

The counterfeiters were producing high-quality 20, 50 and 100 euro notes.

The operation, the result of a two-year investigation, shut down four plants that were producing millions of  bills and coins.

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