Forgery-Factory Couple Jailed

Article excerpt

Byline: Simon Baker

Two Romanians who helped run a multi-million pound forgery factory 'dedicated' to bringing illegal immigrants to the UK have been jailed.

More than 1,300 fake passports and travel documents were found when immigration officers raided Liliana Doleanu's two-bedroom terraced house in Croydon, south London, last June.

Croydon Crown Court heard that Doleanu (28), an illegal immigrant, had allowed her boyfriend Constantin Dura (24), to help run the factory, which also made false credit cards.

More than 2,200 blank cards were seized, making it the largest combined factory making false bank cards and travel documents ever uncovered by the Immigration Service.

The court was told that the operation was 'highly sophisticated' and involved the use of a card embossing machine, ultraviolet inks and even official stamps used by European governments to authenticate travel documents.

Dura -who admitted charges including conspiracy to defraud and facilitating illegal entry into the UK at a previous hearing -was sentenced by Judge Simon Pratt to six years and eight months in prison.

He told him: 'You, Dura, were deeply involved in the running of a forged document and cloned bank and credit card factory which I am sure was dedicated to the assistance of illegal immigrants into this country on a massive scale.

'Offences like yours and conspiracies like yours do massive disservice to the thousands of genuine immigrants and asylum seekers by the flooding of this country with illegal immigrants who doubtless have paid considerable sums of money to criminal gangs abroad.'

Doleanu, who lived at the property, admitted possessing forged passports, ID cards and credit cards. …