England

Fake £1 coins found in raid in Wombourne

Thousands of fake £1 coins have been found during a police raid in Staffordshire.

West Mercia Police said officers found "several thousand" stamped and finished £1 coins and 50,000 blank coins at Heathmill Industrial Estate, Wombourne.

Three men were arrested; a 53-year-old from Bridgnorth, a 41-year-old from Spalding, Lincolnshire, and a 43-year-old from Tipton, West Midlands.

The men were being held at Shrewsbury Police Station.

Police said officials from the Royal Mint also took part in the raid on Thursday where officers found suspected coin pressing machinery.

Further searches were carried out at in Bridgnorth, Spalding and Tipton by officers from Staffordshire Police and the Counterfeiting Unit of the Serious and Organised Crime Agency, police said.

Det Ch Insp Alan Edwards, head of CID in Shropshire, said: "The suspected counterfeit coins found are very high quality and would be extremely difficult to tell apart from a genuine £1 coin."

Police said regular surveys by the Royal Mint since 2002 have shown a three per cent increase in the number of fake £1 coins in circulation.

Related Internet links

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites