As banks crack down successfully on internet banking scams and plastic-card fraud, thieves are turning to stealing money the old-fashioned way, by counterfeiting cheques.
But, as the second episode of this sharp, tense and excellent series is at pains to point out, the gangs involved in cheque crime use increasingly sophisticated methods to reap thousands of pounds a week. It doesn’t take much – a sort code and an account number are “gold dust for criminal networks”, says a police chief.
A group of Zimbabwean men is firmly on the radar of the City of London and Metropolitan Police’s Dedicated Card and Payment Crime Unit (funded by the banks). The hunt takes them to West Yorkshire and a string of early-morning raids.
About this programme
2/3. In a recent three-month period the number of counterfeit cheques rose by 400 per cent, and detectives suspect one particular gang is behind this huge increase. In a series of dawn raids, police carry out arrests at 20 addresses in Leeds, Bradford, Huddersfield, Barnsley and Wakefield, and recover hundreds of stolen chequebooks and credit cards, as well as printing equipment and false identity documents. However, with no sign of the ringleader, a nationwide manhunt begins. Narrated by Richard Armitage.