UK men charged with counterfeit currency offences

Three men have appeared in court in the UK charged with offences linked to the use of counterfeit currency.

Martin Mongan (22) and Michael Mongan (18) of Staines and Thomas McDonagh (26) of High Wycombe have been charged with passing counterfeit currency and other crimes covered by money laundering legislation.

All three were arrested last week at addresses in Staines in Surrey and High Wycombe in Buckinghamshire following a report that counterfeit bank notes had been used at the Westfield shopping centre in Shepherd's Bush, London, earlier this year.

Police have established that this formed part of a wider network where counterfeit bank notes had been used throughout the country, including across north-west London.

Chief Inspector Thomas Orchard, from the local policing team in Hammersmith & Fulham, said the investigation “started as a relatively low-level, local fraud offence” but has since developed into a nationwide police enquiry.

Martin Mongan and McDonagh were remanded in custody to appear at Southwark Crown Court on November 3, while Michael Mongan was released on bail to the same court date.

According to Bank of England figures, there were an estimated 73,000 counterfeit bank notes circulating in the first half of the year, mainly £20 notes, with a value of around £1.5 million. Around 15,000 notes were intercepted by banks before entering circulation.

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