Lucas Fernandez Jesus, 26, and Werleson Rodrigo Ferreira de Oliveira, 25, two Brazilians living in the United Kingdom were sentenced to five years in prison for managing what the London police believe was one of Great Britain’s biggest fake passport factories ever busted.
They had been arrested last November. After serving their jail time they will be deported back to Brazil.
The Brazilians were arrested after a tip from a stationary store owner who grew suspicious after the young Brazilians bought a very large quantity of special equipment, paint and paper.
He called the police. The authorities would soon find out that they were delivering their goods since January 2005. Both Brazilian were carrying illegal documents when arrested. Oliveira had six different IDs, all fake.
In the "factory," located in the Stamford Hill district, the British police found scanners, computers and printers, able to manufacture 12,000 passports for European Union countries as well as hundreds of other documents, like birth certificates and driver’s licenses.
They also discovered that each passport was sold for up to 1,000 GBP (US$ 1900). While US$ 210,000 were found in the "factory" by police, authorities believe that they could have made as much as US$ 23 million.
According to prosecutors, the material seized was of very high quality and the passports being delivered could be used for international trips without arousing suspicion. The only thing missing was the watermark.
While the defense argued that the documents were only supplied to Brazilians willing to work in other European Union countries, the judge observed that the material could also fall into the hands of terrorists.