Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Polish fake cash pair jailed

TWO members of a counterfeiting gang responsible for flooding the streets with more than £2m of fake currency were jailed on Thursday for a total of six years.

Cezary Pleskoinos, 30, and Tony Marshall, 29, were snared after the Serious Organised Crime Agency linked them to a "sophisticated" counterfeiting factory.

Detectives who raided Pleskoinos's home in Melbourne Road, East Ham, in November seized £275,430 of fake currency. The 'cash' included £20 and £50 Bank of England and Scotland notes and 165,809 in Euros, Southwark Crown Court heard.

They also found laser printers, 3,763 sheets of A4 paper printed with £20 notes, foiling equipment and a scanner.

Prosecutor David Allan said the Bank of England confirmed that they recalled £2.186m of "same series" fakes from general circulation.

Judge Gregory Stone, QC, said: "This was a sophisticated and planned operation with the clear objective of making as much money as possible from this counterfeiting operation.

"Plainly, this operation had a significant international dimension. Equipment and paper were discovered and had it not been interrupted that equipment and paper would have led to even larger quantities of counterfeit currency.''

Pleskoinos was jailed for two-and-a-half years. The judge told the Polish counterfeiter: "You were the guardian of the premises and very heavily involved in the printing. I also recommend you for deportation."

Graham Brown, defending, said Marshall's role was limited to maintaining the premises and running errands for people "in the upper echelons of the hierarchy".

But the judge said Marshall, of Romford, had an "important role" and jailed him for a total of three-and-a-half years.

Pleskoinos and Marshall each admitted six counts of making counterfeit notes, one of attempting to make Ghanaian currency, possessing an article for fraud and one of having counterfeiting materials. Marshall further admitted making £6,000 of counterfeit currency in March, 2007.