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'Sophisticated' forgers to be sentenced
Two men who ran a 'forgery factory' capable of producing cash, passports, bank cards and an array of official documents, are due to be sentenced today.
Belkacem Lakehal, 41, of Woodford Road in South Woodford, and Mohand Said Mouchache, 45, of Marshalsea Road in Southwark, will appear at Snaresbrook Crown Court.
The pair, who have dual British and Algerian nationality, admitted conspiring to produce false passports, counterfeit coins, bank cards, national inusrance cards and other identity documents.
Mr Lakehal and Mr Mouchache were running the 'forgery factory' at a hub in Tavestock Road, Notting Hill, and were arrested in April following a four-month investigation.
Materials to produce false identity documents, more than 130 partially completed forged passports, forged driving licences, numerous National Insurance number cards, a counterfeit £1 manufacturing kit and 1, 896 cast lead counterfeit coins were uncovered.
More than £20,000 in cash was seized and both men are subject to an on-going Proceeds of Crimes Act confiscation investigation.
Detective Inspector Sarah Davies of Operation Maxim said:
"This was a sophisticated network, supplying a vast number of forged documents to organised criminals, enabling them to commit crime and operate with the appearance of legitimacy.
"Through dogged determination and professionalism, my team gathered the evidence to arrest and charge these individuals.
"Thousands of documents and computer files were examined and catalogued and such was the quality of the evidence presented, Mouchache and Lakehal had little option but to plead guilty.
"Hopefully this conviction will send a strong message to others engaged in this type of criminality that the Metropolitan Police Service is determined to stamp out forgery and identity crime to keep our communities safer.”
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