Gang behind £250,000 racket that made 3,000 fake British passports and bank cards used by illegal immigrants and crooks is jailed for nearly 13 years
- Radhouane Bouhafs’ gang supplied criminal underworld with fake documents
- They were churning out forged passports and bank cards in a flat in Kensal Green
- Leader Bouhafs jailed for seven years while rest of gang got combined six years
A gang who supplied the criminal underworld and illegal immigrants with thousands of fake British passports and bank cards have been jailed for a total of 13 years.
Algerian mastermind Radhouane Bouhafs, 39, and his crew made more than £250,000 churning out 3,000 forged documents.
Police caught wind of the operation after intercepting a package full of fake passports in January 2017.
Algerian mastermind Radhouane Bouhafs, 39, and his crew made more than £250,000 supplying fake passports and bank cards to illegal immigrants and criminals
Some of the fake documentation seized in the major bust that saw the crew jailed for 13 years
Southwark Crown Court heard detectives traced the parcel back to Sidamhed Bencherab, 34.
From there, detectives linked his phone to Boualem Benouaret, 45, who was caught posting packages for the gang in a surveillance operation.
Investigations revealed Benouaret was supplying details to Bouhafs – who was in charge of producing the false documents to order.
Specialist printers, laptops and blank cards were found stashed under a bed at a property in Kensal Green, north-west London
Police raided a flat in Kensal Green where specialist printers, laptops and blank cards being operated by tenant Mohammed Haddouchi were found.
Officers recovered around 500 stolen or discarded counterfeit documents and found a further 2,500 completed templates for false documents on a laptop.
Bouhafs was also claiming £48,000 a year in housing benefits by pretending to be unemployed in his application to Enfield council.
Mohammed Haddouchi produced the fake documents and bank cards while living in the Kensal Green flat
Bouhafs admitted conspiracy to supply articles for use in fraud, money laundering and fraud by false representation in relation to the housing benefit fraud.
He was also found guilty of conspiracy to make articles for use in fraud and possession of an identity document with improper intention and was jailed for seven years.
Bencherab of Stamford Hill, Islington, admitted supplying articles for use in fraud.
He was jailed for 28 months’ imprisonment and was also subject to a confiscation order for £250,000.
Bojumma Bekkari, 50, also worked at Kensal Green. He was jailed for 28 months for conspiracy to supply articles for use in fraud
Benouaret, of Stoke Newington, admitted supplying articles for use in fraud and was given a 15 months suspended sentence at a previous hearing.
He was further charged with conspiracy to supply articles for use in fraud and given a 12-month community order with 80 hours unpaid work.
Haddouchi, of Kilburn, north-west London, admitted conspiracy to make articles for use in fraud, conspiracy to supply articles for use in fraud and money laundering and was jailed for three years and four months.
Gang member Bojumma Bekkari, 50, who also worked at Kensal Green, was caught using his own identity documents as templates for the fakes.
Bekkari, of Hornsey, north London, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to supply articles for use in fraud and fraud by false representation in relation to the wage slip fraud.
He was jailed for 28 months.
Benouaret supplied details to Bouhafs – who was in charge of producing the false documents to order. He was given a 15-month suspended sentence
Detective Chief Superintendent Alexis Boon, from the Met’s Specialist Operations Command, said: ‘This group was producing thousands of false identity documents and supplying and selling them on for profit.
‘Thanks to the excellent investigative work by the detectives on this case, their criminal activity was identified and stopped.
‘We’ve already secured a confiscation order for £250,000 from one of the men involved. We will also be seeking further confiscation orders for any assets the others have gained through their criminal activity to ensure they can’t profit from this.’
Bouhafs now faces a confiscation hearing on 30 July.
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