17 May 2018
A man who was at the centre of a fake identity document distribution ring has been jailed for more than five years.
Albanian national Arsen Baculi, 23, was arrested by National Crime Agency officers in east London on Tuesday 8 February 2018 after picking up a consignment of counterfeit documents, including a Greek passport and ID card with his picture on.
A search of his flat in Melford Road, East Ham, led to the discovery of a hoard of other ready-to-go documents, including a false passport, a number of driving licences, residency permits and construction industry cards bearing different names and images.
A small quantity of bagged up cocaine and electronic scales were also found.
Baculi pleaded guilty to charges of possessing false documents and class A drugs. On Thursday 17 May at the Old Bailey he was sentenced to five years and two months years in prison. He will also face deportation after serving his sentence.
The investigation into Baculi was linked to a joint NCA and Immigration Enforcement operation which saw the dismantling of a “fraud factory” making counterfeit documents in Romford last year. That operation saw a Romanian couple jailed for four and two years respectively for making fraudulent documents.
Mark McCormack, NCA Branch Commander, said:
“False identity documents are a key enabler of criminality in the United Kingdom.
"The type of documents Baculi was involved in distributing could be used to open bank accounts for money laundering, or to help people illegally gain work or access services in the UK.
“But their use could also have dangerous consequences were unqualified individuals to use them to gain employment in areas such as construction or driving.
"Arresting and prosecuting those individuals involved in the supply of these documents will make it harder for criminals to ply their trade and help to safeguard the public.”