In the Media

Police seize 4 million counterfeit ?1 coins in freight container

PUBLISHED May 24, 2012

Most of the coins were discovered in a 40ft freight container while smaller amounts were recovered from three addresses in Enfield, Hertfordshire and Essex.

About four million of the coins were blank having not yet been stamped. A further 107,000 had been completed and were ready to be put into circulation.

Three men were arrested in connection with what police have described as an "industrial scale" counterfeiting operation.

On Thursday night the men, aged 52, 43 and 27, were being held at a North London police station on suspicion of a range of offences including production of counterfeit monies, money laundering and fraud.

Det Insp Bruce South of the Met's Project Team said: "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."

There are about 1.5 billion pound coins currently in circulation.

It is estimated that as much as three per cent of them are counterfeit.