Send photos, video and news by texting GUARDIAN SERIES to 80360 (cost 10p), or email us
Forgers who made false passports and bank cards jailed
Two men who ran a "sophisticated" forgery factory capable of producing cash, passports, bank cards and an array of official documents have been jailed.
Belkacem Lakehal, 41, of Woodford Road in South Woodford, was sentenced to five years for conspiring to make false passports and bank cards.
Mohand Said Mouchache, 45, of Marshalsea Road in Southwark, was sentenced to four years for conspiring to make false bank cards, national insurance cards and other identity documents.
The pair, who have dual British and Algerian nationality, admitted the charges and were sentenced at Snaresbrook Crown Court on Friday.
The court heard how Lakehal and Mouchache ran a 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."