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Greek Bank Uncovers 2017 Libyan Robbery Cash Exchange Attempt

ATHENS – Around €40,000 ($43,182) worth of worn-out bills from a 2017 Libyan bank heist in Benghazi resurfaced in Larisa, central Greece, when an individual attempted to exchange them at a Bank of Greece branch.

Authorities, alerted by the condition of the banknotes and previous EU alerts, grew suspicious. The bills originated from a €159 million ($171.65 million) robbery at the Central Bank of Libya, carried out by a Libyan National Army brigade amid civil unrest.

Due to a sewer overflow, approximately €68 million ($73.41 million) was damaged, showing signs of mold and tears. Despite this, attempts were made to exchange the compromised currency in various countries, including Greece.

Estonian officials revealed that Turkish criminal groups facilitated the circulation of many notes, while reports suggested involvement from the Russian Mafia in similar endeavors. The Central Bank of Estonia reported over 50 cases related to the exchange of 1,705 stolen Libyan banknotes in recent years.

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