Police discover printing plant for fake banknotes

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The Independent Online

Equipment capable of printing counterfeit currency is being examined as part of an investigation into the production of fake banknotes.

A unit on an industrial estate near Yalding, Kent, was yesterday being searched by experts. Officers from Kent Police, the Serious Organised Crime Agency (Soca) and the Bank of England were involved in the inquiry. Sources said that "very high quality" counterfeit £20 notes in various stages of production were found at the site.

A house almost 30 miles away in Faversham has also been searched in an operation linked to the investigation, Kent Police said.

Two men have been arrested and were being interviewed by detectives in Maidstone, a police spokesman added. Detective Inspector Eddie Fox, from Kent Police, said: "We believe the equipment we are examining could be capable of producing millions of pounds worth of counterfeit currency.

"This type of crime can cause millions of pounds of damage to the economy but can also have a devastating impact on individuals who are duped into accepting worthless notes."

Spokesmen for Soca and the Bank of England did not comment.