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Dutch Counterfeiting Ring's £30M Swindle Behind Decision To Replace £1 Coin

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http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/crime/dutch-counterfeiting-rings-30m-swindle-behind-decision-to-replace-1-coin-9210251.html

The decision to replace the £1 coin with a new design to combat counterfeiting came after police broke up an international smuggling ring that had flooded Britain with at least £30m worth of fake coins. Dutch police swooped on a supposedly legitimate mint in Amsterdam after being tipped off by British police who discovered that huge consignments of the sophisticated copies were coming in through British ports. Detectives believe that the ring, which was supplying British crime syndicates, is the largest and most sophisticated the UK has ever seen.

The revelation of the operation’s scale came as Chancellor George Osborne announced that the £1 coin was to be replaced with a 12-sided design to help deter counterfeiting.

One industry source said: “This [counterfeiting] operation has been going on since at least 2006 and it is estimated that they have been producing around £4m worth of £1 coins each year, if not more. This is certainly the biggest operation the UK has seen, both in terms of scale and sophistication.”

And yet those fraudsters at the BoE who've created £375bn out of thin air remain free. Considering the tiny amounts being produced it hardly seems worth it... I wonder if these coins can fool vending machines?

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http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/crime/dutch-counterfeiting-rings-30m-swindle-behind-decision-to-replace-1-coin-9210251.html

And yet those fraudsters at the BoE who've created £375bn out of thin air remain free. Considering the tiny amounts being produced it hardly seems worth it... I wonder if these coins can fool vending machines?

I've never understood why, if one has 'minting' facilties at your disposal, these lowlifes never seem to bother with faking £2 coins???? make twice the profit? No?

Edited by anonguest

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I've had several £1 coins rejected by vending machines - including at least 2 when I was trying to get some passport photos done. I assume it was because they were fake. I'm sure others have found the same.

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Something doesn't add up. If I had the goose that laid the golden egg I'd put the darling to work 24/7, 365 days a year. In the article it states that the machines were capable of churning out hundreds of coins a minute. Go with 200 and that's ballpark knocking on for 100million in coins every single year. So why only run the machine for 40minutes a day :D

I have been very suspicious of 100%perfect in shape, size, feel and colour coins passing through my hands for a number of years now... seemingly better than the real deal £1 coins (paying particular attention to the edges) that get spat out from coin machines.

Edited by longtomsilver2

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Perhaps it's cheaper to fake £1 coins, the £2 is made of at least two different metals?.

True. But do vending machines and the like actually 'detect' that there are two different metal portions? or is it just weight/size?

As far as humans are concerned...how would they know if the whole thing was made of one metal disc with the central portion superficially plated or 'stamped' with a thin layer of some silvery alloy. Admittedly it would introduce one or two extra steps in the counterfeting process, rather than just stamping a single disc, but the effort would be rewarded surely with double the face value???

Similar sort of logic to why one always sees fake £10 and £20 notes but never £5 notes?

Just seems daft to go to all that criminal enterprise activity and risk just to make £1 coins instead of a higher face value coin if it is an option. Just sayin.......

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Something doesn't add up. If I had the goose that laid the golden egg I'd put the darling to work 24/7, 365 days a year. In the article it states that the machines were capable of churning out hundreds of coins a minute. Go with 200 and that's ballpark knocking on for 100million in coins every single year. So why only run the machine for 40minutes a day :D

I have been very suspicious of 100%perfect in shape, size, feel and colour coins passing through my hands for a number of years now... seemingly better than the real deal £1 coins (paying particular attention to the edges) that get spat out from coin machines.

Probably limited by the amount they can launder, and supply of raw materials. Not to mention that putting the goose to work in a more limited way might be why they got away with it for so long. Perhaps the same operation was counterfeiting other coin types as well.

Crude fakes apart, I have a similar can't-quite-put-my-finger-on-it feeling about some pound coins recently. They look absolutely right, but almost too good and maybe the weight's slightly off as well. It doesn't help that there are about a zillion different designs of the things nowadays either.

Mind you I've had my suspicions about the odd tenner too. I handed over a tenner yesterday and it felt slightly thin. But it was brand new and came straight from a cash machine so perhaps that's how they are nowadays.

Edited by StainlessSteelCat

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True. But do vending machines and the like actually 'detect' that there are two different metal portions? or is it just weight/size?

As far as humans are concerned...how would they know if the whole thing was made of one metal disc with the central portion superficially plated or 'stamped' with a thin layer of some silvery alloy. Admittedly it would introduce one or two extra steps in the counterfeting process, rather than just stamping a single disc, but the effort would be rewarded surely with double the face value???

Similar sort of logic to why one always sees fake £10 and £20 notes but never £5 notes?

Just seems daft to go to all that criminal enterprise activity and risk just to make £1 coins instead of a higher face value coin if it is an option. Just sayin.......

What weighs more a tonne of feathers or a tonne of stone. For a one man outfit I'd be happy to churn out a few hundred thousand 50pence pieces a year for myself.

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What weighs more a tonne of feathers or a tonne of stone. For a one man outfit I'd be happy to churn out a few hundred thousand 50pence pieces a year for myself.

You could be on to something there re: being more 'modest' in ones expectations - and being better off in the long run......

I had also wondered just about the whole practicality of 'laundering' large quantities of £1 coins. I mean there's only so much you can try and bag up and try and deposit at a bank? or spend in high street shops? or buy train tickets with? etc

That said, as a small 'cottage industry' working from a personal basement, workshop or garden shed, one could presumably make enough to fund an ordinary lifestyle? i.e pay ones bills, living expenses, etc. Should be easier and less risky than growing cannabis?

I guess, as with most crime, people get caught because they are either stupid or get too greedy. Given the skills involved in coin counterfeiting it's reasonable to assume that it is the latter that applies here and not the former.

And finally, now that I think about it......

Cashing in fake coins, bagged up, at a bank/post office could be (should be?) almost foolproof? The cashiers don't normally pour them out first to inspect them? They just weigh them up and accept them? So long as the coins look right and weigh spot on then it would be hard to be caught?

Hmmmmm........

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Probably limited by the amount they can launder, and supply of raw materials. Not to mention that putting the goose to work in a more limited way might be why they got away with it for so long. Perhaps the same operation was counterfeiting other coin types as well.

Crude fakes apart, I have a similar can't-quite-put-my-finger-on-it feeling about some pound coins recently. They look absolutely right, but almost too good and maybe the weight's slightly off as well. It doesn't help that there are about a zillion different designs of the things nowadays either.

Mind you I've had my suspicions about the odd tenner too. I handed over a tenner yesterday and it felt slightly thin. But it was brand new and came straight from a cash machine so perhaps that's how they are nowadays.

Just wait till we get plastic banknotes......

At least with paper most people can tell the difference in quality between real banknote paper and cheaper wood pulp paper.

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Used to do a pub quiz in east London 3 years ago. Our winnings were frequently a pile of £1 coins that everyone had paid to enter. To my untrained eye it was easy to detect at least 10%-20% forgeries. Spotting them was the team's post-quiz hobby. We normally looked for wonkey or missing crosses stamped on the edge.

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Fake £5 notes were common about 10 years ago but now it's all £20 notes.

Hence we can expect to see fake £2 coins appear before long.

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Hence we can expect to see fake £2 coins appear before long.

I doubt it, the multicoloured metal apparently is a major pain in the ass to counterfeit.

They generally sell funny money for 30p on the £ at retail, ie when you buy a few hundred quids worth, so I imagine the blokes in Holland were getting 15-20p tops per £1 coin.

If it's that much more complex to do a £2 coin I can't see them bothering.

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Hence we can expect to see fake £2 coins appear before long.

I came across a fake £2 coin last week, It was much a bad fake I refused to take it from a work mate.

It was a terrible fake, there was a wonky half a mm gap between the outer ring and the inner coin... but clearly its already happening!

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Putting them into circulation is the real challenge. That's why people don't fake £50 notes - they're so rare they get scrutinized every time you hand one over.

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I should add I really like the look of the new 12-sided £1. It's a complex beast with lots of sloping surfaces and odd angles. It's probably the future - low value coins phased out and high value coins become multi-sided with 3D features.

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I came across a fake £2 coin last week, It was much a bad fake I refused to take it from a work mate.

It was a terrible fake, there was a wonky half a mm gap between the outer ring and the inner coin... but clearly its already happening!

Wow. That's a first for me to hear. But also sounds like the situation with the very early/first fake one pound coins. I remember they too were also so bad that they probably only fooled people when they were 'fresh'. They seemed to be made of lead type alloy (had a dull sound to them) and were 'painted' (which came away relatively quickly/easily). Don't see these anymore. Now the £1 fakes are much better and harder to spot to a casual eye.

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Wow. That's a first for me to hear. But also sounds like the situation with the very early/first fake one pound coins. I remember they too were also so bad that they probably only fooled people when they were 'fresh'. They seemed to be made of lead type alloy (had a dull sound to them) and were 'painted' (which came away relatively quickly/easily). Don't see these anymore. Now the £1 fakes are much better and harder to spot to a casual eye.

I guess in due course we will get to suffer from much higher quality £2 fakes.

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I very much doubt that the BoE changed the design because of a measly £4m fraud per annum figure. Don't forget, these people print in the £100's of billions.

It is far more likely that the new coin is cheaper and saves very much more on their costs.

I'm sure it's just a vanity project for the Gidiot. Hw would put his own face on it if he could.

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