UK police crack fake credit card factory in London

After an officer saw the pair – Gabriel Yew (39) and Cheng Chee Weng (28) – exchanging brown envelopes in London's Chinatown earlier in the year, police gave chase and arrested them, subsequently raiding their flat.

During the raid, offices and staff from the Dedicated Cheque and Plastic Crime Unit (DCPCU) of the Metropolitan Police, along with officers from the Westminster Police Chinese Unit, confiscated a number of fake payment cards, as well as 700 stolen account numbers, from the locked downstairs room of the flat, which they said was a fake credit card factory.

Also discovered at the flat was more than £10 000 in cash, thousands of pounds-worth of gold jewellery and lists of the stolen account credentials ready to be put on to the cards.

According to police, around 250 of the stolen account numbers had already been encoded on to fake cards, ready for purchases.

Southwark Crown Court heard how officers launched a proactive investigation into the pair, who were arrested by Westminster Police's Chinese Unit, after they could offer no explanation as to why they were exchanging brown envelopes.

One envelope was found to contain 11 counterfeit credit cards, whilst then other contained a large mount of cash. Police say that Yew was the mastermind in the crime spree, purchasing iPhones, expensive whisky, jewellery and other items up to the value of £300 000. Weng, meanwhile, was responsible for running errands as instructed by Yew.

Yew was sentenced to four years in prison, whilst Weng was given a 15 months prison sentence. Commenting on the case, Detective Inspector Dee Bain, from the CCPU, said that it has come to a successful conclusion after only six months of investigation.

"This is testament to the exemplary partnership work that went on between the specialist detectives in the DCPCU and the Westminster Police Chinese Unit based at Charing Cross police station", he said.

"During the past eight years the DCPCU has prevented an estimated £340 million of card and cheque fraud, and has been integral to the reduction in overall card fraud losses, which fell by 28% last year", he added.

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