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Five Charged as Part of Major Investigation Into the Supply of Criminal Passports

Five people have been charged as part of a major National Crime Agency (NCA) investigation into a criminal enterprise that supplied fraudulent passports to some of the U.K.’s most notorious organized criminals.

The group, aged between 38 and 72, were among 24 people arrested during a series of dawn raids carried out by the NCA and policing partners last month (October 11).

Those charged on November 8 were:

–      Juliet McCormack, DoB 24/07/1983, of Copthorne Road, Leatherhead, Surrey, charged with one count of conspiracy to pervert the course of public justice and one count of conspiracy to make a false instrument.

–      Alan Thompson, DoB 16/06/1950, of Westminster Road, Sutton, Surrey, charged with one count of conspiracy to pervert the course of public justice, two counts of conspiracy to make a false instrument and one count of money laundering.

–      Michael Thompson, DoB 24/03/1965, of Matlock Crescent, Cheam, Surrey, charged with one count of conspiracy to pervert the course of public justice, two counts of conspiracy to make a false instrument and one count of money laundering.

–      Anthony Beard, DoB 23/12/1961, of Kirkdale, Sydenham, London SE26, charged with one count of conspiracy to pervert the course of public justice, one count of conspiracy to make a false instrument and one count of money laundering

–      Kevin Crinnion, DoB 08/11/1949, of Homerton Road, London E9, charged with one count of conspiracy to make a false instrument.

They are accused of being part of a crime group which provided hundreds of U.K. passports that enabled criminals – including fugitives from U.K. justice and international drug and firearm traffickers – to cross borders and conduct business undetected.

NCA officers allege the group specialized in fraudulently-obtained genuine passports (FOGs) – documents which are issued authentically but have been applied for using false information. The result is a seemingly legitimate document, and FOGs are therefore highly sought after by criminals worldwide.

Codenamed Operation Strey, this has been one of the most significant NCA investigations of recent times with assistance provided by HM Passport Office and the Dutch National Police.

Those charged were all bailed and are due to appear before Croydon Magistrates Court on November 17.

Today’s actions bring the total number of people charged in relation to the investigation to six.

On October 12, Christopher McCormack (also known as Christopher Zietek), aged 66, of Collingtree Road, Sydenham, appeared before Westminster Magistrates’ Court charged with one count of conspiracy to pervert the course of public justice, two counts of conspiracy to make a false instrument and one count of money laundering. He was remanded in custody until his next appearance at Reading Crown Court on November 22. McCormack, who splits his time between Spain, the U.K. and Ireland, is suspected of acting as a broker between criminals seeking to buy the passports and crime group members that supplied them.

Read more at the National Crime Agency

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The Government Technology & Services Coalition's Homeland Security Today (HSToday) is the premier news and information resource for the homeland security community, dedicated to elevating the discussions and insights that can support a safe and secure nation. A non-profit magazine and media platform, HSToday provides readers with the whole story, placing facts and comments in context to inform debate and drive realistic solutions to some of the nation’s most vexing security challenges.

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