Police have intercepted what's already being hailed the biggest counterfeit cash haul 'of its kind' recorded in the UK.
£4.1 million worth of fake coins were discovered and seized from a freight container on Wednesday (23 May) following a series of raids on properties in London, Hertfordshire and Essex, dailymail.co.uk writes.
The goods comprised four million blank discs ready to be pressed into £1 coins, plus £107,000 of finished currency. Detectives from Scotland Yard, though celebrating the 'significant blow' to the criminals involved, fear that some coins may already have gone into circulation.
Three men, aged 52, 43 and 27, have been arrested and taken to a north London police station on suspicion of several offences including fraud, money laundering and the production of counterfeit money. Officers think the three properties were used as storage locations but remain unsure where the coins were physically pressed.
Working on the Projects Team, detective inspector Bruce South told telegraph.co.uk: "This seizure is a significant blow to the network behind it; individuals clearly intent on undermining the UK monetary system by producing counterfeit currency on an industrial scale.
"It is yet another example of the work this team is carrying out on a daily basis to tackle organised criminal networks."
The public are being advised to check their change carefully and businesses might like to consider using secure money processing services which can detect any issues.
Update - The Royal Mint publishes an online guide on how to spot fakes and says that the most common error the counterfeiters make is to match the date with the wrong design on the rear of the coin.