A London court has jailed two men found guilty of running a fake credit card factory and using the counterfeit plastic to buy luxury goods worth hundreds of thousands of pounds.
Gabriel Yew and Cheng Chee Weng were sentenced to four years and 15 months in prison respectively at Southwark Crown Court having pleaded guilty to conspiracy to defraud and supplying articles for use in fraud.
The pair were caught after a plain clothes officer from the Westminster Chinese Unit on patrol in Chinatown, central London, noticed a man handing over a sum of money in exchange for an envelope.
The officer approached the men and when they refused to explain themselves he opened the envelope, finding 11 counterfeit credit cards. The men ran off but the officer caught one who had 11 blank plastic cards on him.
The man - Weng - was arrested and the Dedicated Cheque and Plastic Crime Unit (DCPCU) was called in. After enquiries, the police ended up searching a flat in Haringey belonging to Yew who was identified as the man who escaped in Chinatown.
In the flat police found thermal printers to produce counterfeit cards, plastic cards and holograms, over £10,000 in cash and gold ingots and other jewellery valued at between £8,000 and £10,000. A list of a number of stolen account numbers was also found at the address - 250 of them were already encoded onto the counterfeit cards and police recovered a further 450 compromised details.
The operation's mastermind, Yew used the fake cards to buy computer handsets, iPhones, expensive whisky, jewellery and other items worth up to £300,000.