UK man is jailed for counterfeit pound coin scam

A men who attempted to smuggle £450,000 in counterfeit £1 coins into the UK have been jailed for 50 months.

Edward Magill (pictured) of Northern Ireland conspired with a haulier to smuggle the old-style round coins – which were manufactured illegally at the European Central Mint (ECM) in Westpoort, Amsterdam – into the UK in December 2012.

The “high quality” coins were concealed beneath a layer of metal washers and hidden in barrels, on the back of a flat-bed trailer driven by lorry driver William Turnbull of Northumberland, says the National Crime Agency (NCA).

They were discovered by Border Force officers carrying out checks on freight at North Shields ferry terminal, and Royal Mint specialists were later able to confirm that they were fake.

Turnbull was jailed for 20 months for his role in the conspiracy in July 2015, and two men working at ECM have been convicted in the Netherlands in connection with the scam.

“This has been a lengthy and complex investigation into a significant seizure involving a large quantity of high-quality fake coins. Those coins were destined for the pockets of unsuspecting members of the public across the UK,” said NCA branch commander Mark Spoors.

“There is no doubt in my mind that Magill was played a crucial role in this importation, he was the one in contact with the coin manufacturers in the Netherlands, and Turnbull was working on his behalf to bring them over.”

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