A couple who claimed more than £700,000 of fraudulent benefits have been jailed. 

Wojciech Kowalski and Wiktoria Packowska, both 28, made more than 80 false claims across a three-year period. 

But their scam came to light in June 2020 when they tried to leave the UK via the Channel Tunnel. 

Packowska was found to have £50,000 in cash hidden inside her leggings and a further £12,000 inside her handbag. 

When their home in High Road, Ilford, was searched officers removed a kitchen kickboard and found a carrier bag containing mobile phones, bank cards and documents linking them to fraudulent activity. 

They were released on bail pending further enquiries but continued to claim for benefits they were not entitled to and were arrested for a second time. 

The pair later pleaded guilty to conspiracy to defraud, possessing articles for use in fraud and possessing criminal property. 

On Monday (June 24) they were each jailed for four years. 

Kent Police said they created false bank accounts, identity documents and utility bills in order to make the false claims. 

Det Con Stuart Tracey said: “Wojciech Kowalski and Wiktoria Packowska abused the benefits system and cheated their way towards vast sums of money intended for people who needed it more than they did. 

“They created multiple false identities to commit their crimes and even lied about where they lived when they were first arrested at the Channel Tunnel. 

“However they could not escape the truth for long and are both now behind bars as a result.”