Passport Gangs "Out Of Control"

April 26, 2006: Passport Gangs “Out Of Control”

The Times April 26, 2006

Passport gangs 'out of control'

Organised immigration crime in London, particularly fake passport and identity scams, is out of control, senior police officers said. They estimate that the city is home to as many as 170 criminal gangs from 22 ethnic groups.

Superintendent Bob Murrill, head of Operation Maxim, an initiative by the Metropolitan Police, the Immigration Service, the UK Passport Service and the Crown Prosecution Service, said: It is out of control. Politicians, society and law enforcement in general need to wake up to exactly what is happening.

Maxim officers carried out nearly 100 operations and made more than 150 arrests in 2004. Most cases involved identity document fraud.

Tarique Ghaffur, Assistant Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police, said: There is a danger of us getting into a spiral of decline.