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Man arrested trying to fly to Japan had £1 million of fake £50s and euros in his home

A man has been found guilty of possessing more than £1 million worth of counterfeit notes.

Emil Bogdan Savastru, 31, of no fixed address, was convicted of one count of having custody or control of a counterfeit note following a trial at Isleworth Crown Court.

He will be sentenced at the same court on 10 February 2022.

On 30 January 2020, detectives from the Met’s Specialist Crime Command executed a search warrant at a residential address on Shetland Road, Bow, east London.

During their search, a bag was found containing one million pounds worth of counterfeit £50 and 200 euro notes in large suitcases.

Officers seized the property and shared the notes with the Bank of England, who examined them and confirmed they were counterfeit.

Later the same day, Savastru (above) was arrested at London Heathrow Airport while waiting to board a flight to Japan after documents he left at the scene linked him to the crime.

When questioned, he refused to explain how the notes were in his possession, where he had got them from, or what he was planning to do with them.

Detective Constable Andrew Payne, who led the investigation, said: “Our proactive operation means we have been able to take a significant quantity of counterfeit notes out of circulation. Without a doubt, these notes would have been used to commit further crimes across the UK.

“This successful prosecution relied heavily on the close working between the Met and the Bank of England, leaving little doubt that Savastru was guilty of these offences.

“Counterfeit currency in the UK harms the economy and has a real, significant impact on businesses who take possession of it unknowingly. As this prosecution shows, we will take action against anyone engaged in this type of criminality.”

You can find more information on how to check your banknotes on the Bank of England’s website.

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