It hasn’t taken long for the forgers to crack the unbreakable code behind the new £1 coins, according to the Daily Star Sunday.
The paper’s investigation has revealed that “there’s loads in circulation”, as“one gangster” put it, “and the market for them is ready to pop next year”.
Examining the fake coins, the investigators were shown the marginal adjustments – the absence of fine markings on the thistle emblem and a missing hologram beneath the queen’s head – which will serve to undermine the Royal Mint’s claim that the new coin could not be copied.
But they are standing by the declaration. The Mint told the investigators that the coin was “not a counterfeit”; instead it was likely to be one of the trial pieces despatched to shopkeepers to assist calibration processes during the pre-official launch.
But the counterfeit problem is reportedly more widespread.
“Fake £20 notes are also flooding the UK. Police have seized scores of phony notes in recent weeks,” the Daily Star Sunday added.
Almost £5m-worth of fake twenties were removed from the high street in the opening six months of 2017 with one source telling the newspaper: “You can get twenties anywhere in the UK. They’re being sold over the dark web.”