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HOME OFFICE – News Release 19th September 2018

TWO MEN JAILED OVER FAKE PASSPORTS AND ID CARDS

 

A prolific forger and his accomplice were jailed yesterday (18 September) for running a criminal business making and supplying false passports and ID documents in a landmark case at Inner London Crown Court.

The convictions are the first achieved as a result of legislation introduced to crack down on the threat of ID crime and those who enable document forgers. The ‘Specialist Printing Equipment and Materials (Offences) Act’ has made it illegal to knowingly supply printing equipment to be used for criminal purposes.

 

At an earlier hearing, Bolivian national Marcelo Alpire Alpire (46, of Leadale Road, Stamford Hill) admitted the manufacture and supply of counterfeit ID cards and passports. He was jailed for three years and four months. Co-conspirator Juan Carlos Guzman-Murillo (37, of Camberwell Road, Camberwell) also Bolivian, admitted involvement in distributing the documents and purchasing an ID card printer for Alpire Alpire and was jailed for a year. 

The investigation began after Immigration Enforcement officers recovered 18 fake passports during the course of illegal working operations during January and February 2018. These documents were forensically compared and common distinguishing features were identified.

Immigration Enforcement’s Criminal and Financial Investigation (CFI) officers gathered sufficient evidence to search Alpire Alpire’s home address in Stamford Hill where they discovered dozens of counterfeit Spanish passports and identity documents in various stages of manufacture as well as £12,000 cash which was seized under the Proceeds of Crime Act.

Officers also seized a variety of items used in the manufacture of fake documents including passport covers, cutting equipment, printers and computers on which thousands of photographs and signatures were stored.

Finally, 500 blank ID cards and a boxed ID card printer were discovered addressed to Guzman-Murillo. He had paid for and allowed his address to be used for delivery of this equipment so that Alpire Alpire’s address (and the passport production factory) was not linked to the order.

Guzman-Murillo was arrested on 30 May and phone messages revealed that he had been placing orders with Alpire Alpire for fake ID documents and was allowing Alpire Alpire to use his address for the distribution of these documents.

Assistant Director David Fairclough, from the CFI team, said:

“Our investigation uncovered a lucrative commercial enterprise run by Alpire Alpire, who had set up what was effectively a passport production factory at his home churning out false IDs.

“The documents he was producing were not intended for use in international travel, but rather to provide people illegally resident in the UK with the potential means to build a life here that they are simply not entitled to. 

“Anyone thinking of getting involved in similar offences should be warned that they will be caught and prosecuted.”

The Specialist Printing Equipment and Materials Offences Act was proposed by the Metropolitan Police’s Operation Genesius – an initiative between the police and industry designed to combat fraudsters who make millions by selling or using false IDs.

Detective Chief Inspector Gary Miles, from the Met’s Fraud and Linked Online Crime Unit, said:

“This legislation gives police and other authorities a more direct and efficient means of dealing with those selling or supplying printers knowing they will be used in crime.

“False documents are used to carry out crime, hide criminal identities and allow individuals to live in the UK illegally. They can’t be produced without specialist equipment, and this new law disrupts the criminal’s ability to obtain this.

“This case should send a clear message that law enforcement and the specialist print industry are committed to addressing the production and use of false documents to commit crime and bring offenders to justice.

NOTES TO EDITORS:

Under the new Specialist Printing Equipment and Materials (Offences) Act 2015, law enforcement can arrest people who supply specialist printing equipment or materials to criminals. These items include identity card printers, printer ribbons, embossers and hot foil presses.

As part of this case:

Marcelo Alpire Alpire (46, of Leadale Road, Stamford Hill, London) admitted:

1 count of possessing apparatus for making false identity documents.

2 counts of possessing identity documents with intent

1 count of conspiracy to possess identity documents with intent

1 count of making and supplying articles for use in fraud

1 count of conspiring to make and supply articles for use in fraud

 

Juan Carlos Guzman-Murillo (37, of Camberwell Road, Camberwell, London) admitted:

1 count of supplying specialist printing equipment knowing it will be used for criminal purposes

1 count of conspiracy to supply articles to be used in fraud  

Also as part of this investigation, three men were jailed for fraud offences at earlier hearings at Inner London Crown Court:

 

On 26 June 2018, Oscar Chacon (31, of no fixed abode) was sentenced to six months in jail after he admitted one count of conspiracy to possess / control identity documents with intent (ie a counterfeit passport from Alpire Alpire).

On 4 June 2018, Deigo Quiroga (35, of Queensland Court, Dock Road, Tilbury, Thurrock) was sentenced to four weeks in jail after he admitted possessing articles for use in fraud (namely a National Insurance letter supplied to him by Alpire Alpire).  

On 4 June 2018, Manuel Bados-Espinoza (33, of Standswood Gardens, Southwark) was sentenced on to six months in jail after he admitted possessing a false Spanish ID card with intent

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