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Sussex Police raid shops in counterfeit operation

Police have raided two shops and a house as part of an investigation into a £75,000 counterfeit cash ring in East Sussex, reports bexhillobserver.net.

Fake £20 notes have been used to buy goods and services in Brighton, Bexhill and Eastbourne since Christmas, those concerning with cash management might be interested to learn.

It is thought that the money originates in London and is being sold on by gangs into the county.

Following months of intelligence-gathering, police raided two branches of Easy Tan and a town house in Sovereign Harbour in an attempt to stop the operation. A large amount of money was seized at the property, but nothing was discovered at the tanning shops, both of which later resumed trading.

Individuals and businesses in the area have been impacted by the fake notes, thus the police have issued advice on spotting a counterfeit. Fakes typically do not possess raised 'Bank of England' text, nor do they feature a watermark above the Queen's head. The hologram should switch from '20' to '£' when moved.

Police enquiries are ongoing. Officer Keith Baldwin, who is leading the operation, told theargus.co.uk: "These counterfeit notes have been flooding into the local economy. Notes have been seized and it has become a big problem.

"The raids on Tuesday (8 May) were carried out under a rarely used act, the Forgery and Counterfeit Currency Act 1981 which deals with the illegal possession of fake currency."

PC Baldwin added that people should be extra careful when checking notes and report any fakes to the police.

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