Spotting the forgers

Spotting the forgers

A new law – The Specialist Printing Equipment and Materials (Offences) Act – is due to come into force in May and will make it a criminal act to supply printing equipment and consumables knowing that they will be used for illicit purposes. This could include producing false ID documents as well as counterfeiting money, tickets or packaging. The government estimates that identity fraud costs the UK an estimated £3.3 billion each year. Possession of such documents is already illegal so this bill simply closes a loophole for those supplying them.

Of course the difficulty lies in determining if a trade supplier knows, for example, that their paper is going to be used to print forged bank notes. The Metropolitan Police have run Project Genesius since 2007 to help suppliers develop a voluntary code of conduct and will advise on how to spot criminals. Hopefully this will start with a detailed credit check…

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