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Warning over fake money.

FOUR Liverpool men were at the heart of a fake money scam, which threatened to undermine the economies of both Britain and America.

Detectives from the National Crime Squad have revealed that bundles of the bogus notes could still be in circulation, with some on the streets of Merseyside, despite the jailing of Britain's biggest-ever counterfeiting ring.

Today the gang of eight, including David Harper, of Tuebrook and Robert 'Dwayne' Whittaker, of Toxteth, were starting jail sentences totalling more than 20 years.

Ishwar Daryanani, of Woolton, was earlier given a suspended prison sentence for his involvement and a warrant is out for the arrest o f Karl Egington, of Wavertree.

The racket, which had lasted two years, was smashed after a Bank of England official found one of the counterfeit notes at a sorting office in May 2001.

Equipment used by the sophisticated operation was capable of churning out up to pounds 250,000 a day in fake currency and travellers' cheques.

Officers have no idea exactly how much counterfeit cash was produced before they busted the gang.

Detectives from the National Crime Squad enlisted the help of the American Secret Service to find the gang responsible for flooding Britain a n d America with fake notes. Officers raided ringleader Anastasis Arnaouti's printing premises and recovered pounds 2.5m of counterfeit pounds 10 notes, $3.5m worth of fake $100 bills plus stolen hologram reels used to make $3.6m of American Express travellers' cheques.

Arnaouti was caught on camera in a T V investigation in which undercover journalists posed as gangsters.

Det Supt Nick Lewis of the National Crime Squad said: 'This investigation has brought down a highly organised and extremely successful criminal organisation. It's the biggest enterprise of its kind we have ever come across
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Publication:Liverpool Echo (Liverpool, England)
Date:Jun 14, 2005
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