Seven accused over 'dodgy passports for fugitives' racket deny all charges in court


SEVEN people charged in connection with a suspected international fake passport ring alleged to have supplied documents to some of Britain's most wanted fugitives have denied all charges against them.

They appeared at Reading Crown Court where a series of not guilty pleas were entered.

Christopher McCormack - also known as Christopher Zietek - 66, of Collingtree Road, Sydenham, denied one count of conspiracy to pervert the course of public justice, two counts of conspiracy to make a false instrument (passports) and one count of money laundering at a hearing on Tuesday (December 21). The charges centre around legitimate passports that were obtained with false information. The charges were laid following an investigation by a team of National Crime Agency (NCA) officers, who worked closely with the HM Passport Office and the Dutch National Police, with more arrests across Europe, and further afield in Dubai, Australia, Thailand and Brazil. Suspected clients of the group include Stephen Lawrence murder suspect Jamie Acourt, who was arrested in Spain in 2018 and later jailed for nine years for drugs offences, and Michael Moogan (top picture) – one of the UK’s most wanted fugitives who was arrested in Dubai in April 2021. McCormack is alleged to have acted as a broker between those wanting passports and those producing them. Juliet McCormack, 38, of Copthorne Road, Leatherhead, Surrey, denied one count of conspiracy to pervert the course of public justice and one count of conspiracy to make a false instrument. Alan Thompson, 71, of Westminster Road, Sutton, Surrey, denied one count of conspiracy to pervert the course of public justice and two counts of conspiracy to make a false instrument. Michael Thompson, 56, of Matlock Crescent, Cheam, Surrey, denied 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, 60, of Kirkdale, Sydenham, London, denied 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, 72, of Homerton Road, east London, denied one count conspiracy to make a false instrument.

Mandy Smith denied one count of money laundering. The case was adjourned into the new year.