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Sunday, 28 February 2010

Bank of England has recovered £14m in fake 20 notes

Yasin Patel, 45, of Glenfield Close, Blackburn, had earlier admitted three charges in relation to the conspiracy to supply counterfeit currency.Patel was one of eight men sentenced at Sheffield Crown Court yesterday to a total of 19 years.The organised gang distributed the ‘extremely high quality’ fake £20 notes and 50 Euro notes across the country until undercover officers were supplied with £100,000 of the counterfeit currency by Patel and others.The north west arm of the gang was run by Patel, who as well as being a supplier was also responsible for making ‘crude’ £1 and £2 coins by melting metal on his cooker and putting it into moulds.A smelt was used in the process which was seized by police from Patel’s other property in Rochdale.An electro-plating technique was the used to colour the coins in a sophisticated scam.Police said the coins were not as good quality as the notes, but their weight and size could be used at supermarkets and motorway services in Coinstar machines.
During a series of arrests following a year-long investigation, Patel was stopped at a service station on the M62 near Manchester. Police found 6,000 fake £1 coins and £5,000 in dodgy £20 notes.A total of £237,000 was recovered from the group of men, although it is believed they are responsible for the distribution of millions of pounds.Patel is said to have personally made £22,000 and will face a Proceeds of Crime confiscation order.In the past 12 months, The Bank of England has recovered £14m in fake 20 notes. Police claim since the gang’s arrest, this figures has decreased by 75 per cent.Judge Alan Goldsack QC implemented serious crime prevention orders for Patel and two other defendants who received the longest custodial sentences. This means they will be monitored and have conditions on their release not to associate with each other.
Patel, the youngest of the defendants, who were aged between 45 and 66, appeared via videolink.Detective Chief Inspector Andy Thompson said: “Some were making a good living, others just a bit on the side. Their sentences reflect their role. Although not producing the forged notes, they were some of the main dealers.”

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