Express & Star

Fake £1 coins factory found in Wombourne

A counterfeit cash factory filled with tens of thousands of suspected fake £1 coins has been discovered in a South Staffordshire village.


Thousands of pounds worth of £1 coins were seized in the raid, along with 50,000 blank coins ready to be pressed into shape.

Officers found sophisticated machinery designed for pressing the image of the Queen's face and the Royal Arms into the coins at the unit, along with a range of other equipment.

Police today said the coins were believed to be high-quality copies that would be almost impossible to distinguish from the real thing.

Twenty police officers descended on the unit, near to the village's Sainsbury's supermarket, at around 10am yesterday. A 43-year-old man from Tipton, a 53-year-old man from Bridgnorth and a 41-year-old man from Spalding have been arrested on suspicion of counterfeiting the coins.

The men were taken into custody at Shrewsbury Police Station to be interviewed.

Officers from Staffordshire Police teamed up with West Mercia Police to carry out the raid, joined by officials from the Royal Mint.

The counterfeiting unit of the Serious and Organised Crime Agency also attended.

Graham Clark, who works for Tim Jones, a waterproof casings firm near to the fake coin factory, said he could hear the machinery operating regularly. "They were very productive," he said.

Wombourne councillor Mary Bond said: "I'm shocked something like this is happening right under our noses.

"You don't expect organised crime in a village in South Staffordshire."

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