Officers from the UK's Dedicated Cheque and Plastic Crime Unit, set up in April by Apacs (Association for Payment Clearing Services) and the Home Office, have closed down a counterfeit plastic card factory in Tottenham, North London and arrested two suspects.
The raid took place on Wednesday and resulted in the arrest of a Turkish male and a Romanian female. Equipment needed to produce counterfeit cards on a massive scale - such as card skimmers, printers, presses, card account numbers and computer software - was found in the premises.
DCI Tony Drain, head of the unit, comments: "This raid is a good example of how a partnership approach between law enforcement and the banking industry can be highly successful in combating this type of crime. My officers, together with investigators from Barclaycard, have discovered what appears to be a very well organised counterfeiting operation."
The unit was set up as a two-year pilot by Apacs and the Home Office to fight the organised crime syndicates behind steep rises in UK plastic card fraud losses. A key focus of the unit is on criminals involved in counterfeiting, which has become the UK's worst type of card fraud, growing 50 per cent last year to cost £160 million. Cheque, ATM, identity theft and card-not-present fraud will also be investigated where organised crime is involved.