December 10 2013 Latest news:
Friday, November 1, 2013
Two men who ran a “forgery factory” are due to be sentenced later today at Snaresbrook Crown Court.
Belkacem Lakehal, 41, and Mohand Mouchache, 45, were arrested on April 17 after a four-month police operation targeted their hub in Tavistock Road, South Woodford.
Materials capable of producing passports, bank cards and driving licences were all discovered in the building, which also contained a kit for making counterfeit £1 coins.
Mouchache, of Marshalsea Road, London, was in the process of making forged UK residence permits on a computer when the police arrived.
Forensic evidence also linked Lakehal, of Woodford Road, London, to the address.
After also searching the men’s home addresses, police seized more than £20,000 in cash.
The investigation was carried out by detectives from the Metropolitan Police Service’s Operation Maxim.
Det Insp 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.
“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.”
The men, both of dual British and Algerian nationality, were charged with the same four offences, three counts of making articles for use in fraud and one count of making counterfeits of a protected coin.
Both men pleaded guilty to three counts.
Lakehal pleaded not guilty to one count of making articles for use in fraud when he appeared in court on September 13.
Mouchache pleaded not guilty to making counterfeits of a protected coin when he appeared in court on August 8.
Both not guilty pleas were ordered to lie on file.
The men are due to be sentenced at 4pm today.
There are still traffic jams for miles on the westbound carriageway of the A406 from South Woodford after a teenager was stabbed to death.