The number of crimes involving the fabrication and distribution of fake money has grown 50 per cent in the first half of this year, compared with the same period of last year, Viktor Kozlov, deputy head of the anti-economic crimes department of Russia's Interior Ministry, told a news conference in Moscow on Tuesday.
He said that the most often copied foreign currency is that of the US -- 96.3 per cent of the seized fake money is 100-dollar bills. Among Russian money the leaders are 100-rouble and 500-rouble banknotes.
Kozlov noted that the counterfeiters have visibly improved their organisation and skills in recent years. In particular, while earlier fake money was made on duplicators, now the banknotes are forged by means of high-class printing equipment.
With the introduction of a new currency -- the euro -- counterfeiting activity has "markedly grown". Counterfeiters are attempting to broaden the market of false money in Russia, Kozlov emphasised. At the same time he remarked that no instances of faked euros being circulated in Russia have been recorded.
The main suppliers of counterfeit American dollars are still militants operating in Chechnya. They use fake dollars as payment for sabotage and contract killings.