Feeds

Gang attempted to pass £500,000 notes, court told

Do not collect £28bn, do not pass go

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

An Australian "lawyer" is part of a gang of six up before Southwark Crown Court accused of attempting to convince the Bank of England to honour a breathtaking £28bn ($64.83bn) in moody £1,000 and £500,000 notes, AFP reports.

The cunning plan centred on an "avalanche" of fake £1k bills and 360 so-called "special issue" £500k denominations. The former were withdrawn from circulation in 1943, with just 63 examples unaccounted for, while the latter never existed.

The court heard that the alleged crims' "chief" Chin "Daniel" Lim, 50, from Malaysia, together with Ross Cowie, 62, who "described himself as an Australian lawyer"; Kim Ming Teo, 41, "said to be another lawyer"; Ping Shuen Mak, 56, from Hong Kong; Kwok Kwong Chan, 55, from China; and Chi Kuen Chung, 53, from Hong Kong, attempted to persuade Bank of England officials that the currency "belonged to a family of former Chinese nationalist officials - the oldest of whom was aged 116".

Martin Evan, prosecuting, told the court: "This case concerns what the prosecution say was an audacious plan to present counterfeits, pieces of paper that resembled - the prosecution would say only slightly - bank notes in order to persuade the Bank of England to honour the promise all bank notes carry, the promise to 'pay the bearer' the amount shown."

Evans further explained that if the notes had been genuine, it would have meant they were "worth nearly three quarters of the £39 billion currently in use around the world".

Apart from the obvious flaw in the alleged scheme - the invention of a half-mil note - the jury heard that "the apparently forged signature on the notes was incorrect". AFP explains: "Sir Jasper Quintus Hollam - who was not appointed the chief cashier of the Bank of England until 1963 - always used his first two initials when signing his name, rather than just the second the alleged counterfeiters had used."

The defendants, all of whom live in the London area, are charged with one count of conspiring to defraud the Bank of England between 1 December 2006 and 27 March this year. All deny the charge. The trial is expected to last six weeks. ®

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

More from The Register

next story
Phones 4u slips into administration after EE cuts ties with Brit mobe retailer
More than 5,500 jobs could be axed if rescue mission fails
Driving with an Apple Watch could land you with a £100 FINE
Bad news for tech-addicted fanbois behind the wheel
Phones 4u website DIES as wounded mobe retailer struggles to stay above water
Founder blames 'ruthless network partners' for implosion
Radio hams can encrypt, in emergencies, says Ofcom
Consultation promises new spectrum and hints at relaxed licence conditions
Special pleading against mass surveillance won't help anyone
Protecting journalists alone won't protect their sources
Big Content Australia just blew a big hole in its credibility
AHEDA's research on average content prices did not expose methodology, so appears less than rigourous
Vodafone to buy 140 Phones 4u stores from stricken retailer
887 jobs 'preserved' in the process, says administrator PwC
prev story

Whitepapers

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Beginner's guide to SSL certificates
De-mystify the technology involved and give you the information you need to make the best decision when considering your online security options.