Brothers printed fake banknotes

Undated handout photo issued by the National Crime Agency of a Heidelberg Platten press that was shown in court during the trial of four men who were today jailed at Birmingham Crown Court for conspiracy to produce counterfeit notes. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Issue date: Monday January 13, 2014. The two Karra brothers used their printing firm's Christmas and New Year break to churn out ?1.2 million worth of fake banknotes. The trial heard Amrit Karra, of Broadway North, Walsall; Prem Karra, of Brookhouse Road, Walsall; Kumar, of Clarkes Lane, West Bromwich; and Mahey, of Cranbrook Road, Handsworth, Birmingham, even worked through the night to print fake ?10 notes with a face value of at least ?1.27 million. Amrit Karra, aged 45, Prem Karra, 43, Kumar, 40, and Mahey, 44, used specialist paper, inks and foil to run off the near-perfect forgeries at a print-works in Hockley, Birmingham. See PA story COURTS Notes. Photo credit should read: National Crime Agency/PA WireNOTE TO EDITORS: This handout photo may only be used in for editorial reporting purposes for the contemporaneous illustration of events, things or the people in the image or facts mentioned in the caption. Reuse of the picture may require further permission from the copyright holder.

%VIRTUAL-SkimlinksPromo%Two brothers who used their printing firm's Christmas and New Year break to churn out £1.2 million worth of fake banknotes have both been jailed for seven years.

Apparently respectable businessmen Amrit and Prem Karra acted as "masterminds and architects" of the highly-sophisticated counterfeiting operation, Birmingham Crown Court heard.
Sentencing the brothers and two other men who also took part in the scam, Judge Richard Bond said such offences undermined the integrity of the UK's financial system.

The Karra brothers and their brothers-in-law, Rajiv Kumar and Yash Mahey, were all convicted of conspiracy to produce counterfeit notes following a five-week trial which ended in December.

The trial heard Amrit Karra, of Broadway North, Walsall; Prem Karra, of Brookhouse Road, Walsall; Kumar, of Clarkes Lane, West Bromwich; and Mahey, of Cranbrook Road, Handsworth, Birmingham, even worked through the night to print fake £10 notes with a face value of at least £1.27 million.

Amrit Karra, aged 45, Prem Karra, 43, Kumar, 40, and Mahey, 44, used specialist paper, inks and foil to run off the near-perfect forgeries at a print-works in Hockley, Birmingham.

Judge Bond told the men, who are all married with children: "People who commit offences of this type must realise that those who counterfeit currency must expect long sentences of imprisonment.

"In this case the amount of money produced and disseminated into general circulation was enormous.

"Production of counterfeit notes undermines the whole economy of the country... essentially it undermines the whole integrity of the currency system.

"It is so serious that only lengthy custodial sentences can be justified."

Jailing both Mahey and Kumar for four-and-a-half years, and barring the Karra brothers from acting as company directors, Judge Bond said the offences were motivated by greed.

He told the defendants: "All four of you knew what would happen to the notes.

"You knew that if you were caught it would affect your wives and your children and other members of your immediate family.

"Knowing, as you did, the consequences of being caught, you ignored your families. The risks taken in this case were high and you must personally take the blame."

The National Crime Agency (NCA) said Karra Design and Print had legitimate business contracts but the four men had used the firm's computers and machinery to counterfeit notes in late 2010 and early 2011.

The vast majority of the "extremely high quality" notes even had individual serial numbers, and were only identified as fakes as they were sorted by banks to be loaded into cash machines.

Although the notes' holograms were easily identifiable as bogus, the other security features were so convincing that only 10% of them were spotted by members of the public.

In a statement issued after the case, the NCA said forensic analysis of the printing firm's equipment showed exactly when it was being used and what was being produced.

Mobile phone data and automatic number plate recognition evidence were also critical to the success of the investigation, an NCA spokesman said.

Lawyers for the Karra brothers argued that the conspiracy was a response to financial trouble at the printing firm.

David Emanuel, defending Prem Karra, described the "one-off" printing of counterfeit notes as a very misguided attempt to save the business, and said his client was someone who had been highly regarded within the local business community.

Franco Tizzano, defending Amrit Karra, told the court during mitigation: "It is a great tragedy that someone with such positive qualities, who has worked all his adult life and was very committed to his family, finds himself before the court."

The fake notes have been found all over the country but the most significantly affected areas were the West Midlands, London and Kent.

Richard Warner, NCA Birmingham Branch Commander, said: "These men ran a sophisticated operation that posed a significant threat to the UK economy at the time.

"By working closely with industry experts our officers stopped them causing more damage.

"Counterfeiting is not a victimless crime. It takes money out of the pockets of individuals and businesses."

A Bank of England spokesperson said: "The Bank works closely with the National Crime Agency in the fight against counterfeiting. We are grateful for their work in pursuing this case to a successful conclusion.

"Those individuals who engage in counterfeiting should know they will be found and punished for their crimes."

10 PHOTOS
The biggest scams of 2013
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Brothers printed fake banknotes
First Direct found that the most common type of fraud was the 'fake email', which makes up 53% of all scams. This is also known as phishing, and involves the fraudsters contacting you, requesting personal information like passwords and PINs.

They use all kinds of methods to persuade you to reveal your details: from pretending to be your bank, to pretending to be the taxman. Earlier this year HMRC warned people to watch out for scam emails promising tax credit refunds in return for account details - timed to coincide with a major advertising campaign to remind people to renew their tax credits.
This is an old and established scam, but is the second most prevalent in the UK this year. It involves someone getting in contact with a sob story, and asking for a sum of money in return for paying you a larger sum. If you pay up you may get requests for more cash but you will never receive a payout.

This year the horrible twist on the scam was that the gangs pretended to be a victim of the war in Syria, in desperate need of money and able to pay you from money he has hidden overseas, once you give him enough money to escape the country.
This is a new take on phishing, which Financial Fraud Action warned about in August. They said victims receive a cold call asking for personal or financial information. Some 39% of all people targeted by these calls said they found it difficult to tell if the person was genuinely from their bank or whether it was a scam. First Direct says this is the third most prevalent type of scam.
Duplicating your bank cards made up 14% of fraud this year. Old-fashioned card scams are actually on the rise this year. The experts say that the introduction of chip and PIN means 'crude scams' are back in vogue, where criminals distract people in shops and bars, or shoulder surf at cash machines and then steal customers' cards without them noticing.
These also make up 14% of all scams. You receive an email telling you that you have won a lottery. All you have to do is get in touch with the 'claims agent' who you'll need to pay a 'processing fee' or a 'transfer charge' to. These 'agents' are all criminals, who will just take your money and run.
We warned in November of a boom in phoney research calls. Boiler room operatives will call pretending to be university researchers looking into investor confidence. In fact, they are just trying to find out how best to exploit you: asking how much cash you have, your attitude to risk, and determining whether an appeal to greed would work.
Back in May we warned that you could receive a telephone call out of the blue from someone claiming to be from Microsoft. The scammers were using a variety of techniques to extract money from their victims. These included infecting computers with malware and charging to remove it, charging people a fortune for help they didn't want or need, or even just asking for their credit card details.

This is not a new type of scam. For years now different types of Trojan viruses have been embedded in various web pages and links. If you click on the page or link you're taken to malicious websites, which install a virus. The virus then quietly sits on your computer, stealing passwords and account details until it has enough details to empty your bank accounts.

This scam took two very popular forms this year. The first was a link sent in an email pretending to be from Facebook, and inviting you to click the link. When you did, it would install the virus and then send the link to your Facebook friends.

The other form was a page with a fake YouTube video in the background, which claimed to show Rita Ora's famous wardrobe malfunction. However, the site prompts you to enter your Facebook details, so you can see the video and 'personalise your experience'. The criminals then have access to your Facebook account.

As the jobs market continues to be tight, the job offer scam is still a real risk. Financial Fraud Action issued a warning about fake online job offers, that could turn innocent job hunters into unwitting money launderers.

The jobs offered are called things like "payment processing agents" or "administration assistants". They involve the payment of the proceeds of crimes into your bank account. You then pay the cash into an overseas account, effectively hiding the money and laundering it for criminals. In return you receive a share of the money. This is a criminal act.
These reached a peak this year after One Direction collected their Brit award (pictured) and announced a World Tour - and demand for the tickets exploded. The scammers set up fake sites offering tickets to sold-out gigs. Desperate fans trawling the net would stumble across them and take a risk. They handed over hundreds of pounds, the criminals took the money, shut the website, and ran.
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