4.1 million fake £1 coins seized
Filed under: Scams & Fraud
4.1 million fakes in various stages of production were seized, but what does it mean for the money in your pocket?
The haulThe Metropolitan Police Service's Projects Team seized the money on Wednesday from three properties in Enfield, Hertfordshire and Essex; and two vehicles in the Essex area - including a 40 foot freight container. The seizure is thought to be the biggest recovery of counterfeit coins within the UK.
Three men - aged 52, 43 and 27 - have been arrested and are being held at a north London police station on suspicion of offences such as production of counterfeit monies, money laundering and fraud.
Detective Inspector Bruce South, from the Projects Team, said in a statement: "This seizure is a significant blow to the network behind it; individuals clearly intent on undermining the UK monetary system by producing counterfeit currency on an industrial scale. It is yet another example of the work this team is carrying out on a daily basis to tackle organised criminal networks."
Drop in the oceanThis is an excellent step. However, there are a few worrying signs within the police statement. First of all, the raid did not identify where the presses are, so there may well be more coins in production already. In addition, the police admitted that they thought some of the money made by this gang had already been put in circulation.
Plus, of course, it's just a drop in the ocean of the number of fakes in circulation. It's thought that there are about 44 million fakes already in pockets and moneyboxes across Britain.
We posted last month about the best way to spot a fake. Of course, ideally the best way is for the police to spot it before it ends up in our pockets. As this operation shows, they are certainly putting the resources in, but tracking these gangs is remarkably difficult.
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