[But see this: Peru is NOT the dollar counterfeiting capital of the world]
LIMA, Peru - With its meticulous criminal craftsmen, cheap labor, and, by some accounts, less effective law enforcement, Peru has in the last two years overtaken Colombia as the No. 1 source of counterfeit U.S. dollars, says the U.S. Secret Service, protector of the world's most widely traded currency. In response, the service opened a permanent office in Lima last year, only its fourth in Latin America, and has since helped Peru's police arrest 50 people on counterfeiting charges. Over the last decade, $103 million in fake U.S. dollars "made in Peru" has been seized - nearly half since 2010, Peruvian and U.S. officials say. Unlike most other counterfeiters, who rely on sophisticated late-model inkjet printers, the Peruvians generally go a step further - finishing each bill by hand. "It's a very good note," said a Secret Service officer at the U.S. Embassy. "They use offset, huge machines that are used for regular printing of newspapers, or flyers."