Fake passports for sale in Hammersmith

Evening Standard special investigation finds out falsified documents advertised in a window shop at Kings Street.

Advertisements for fake passports and work permits were placed at King's Convenience Store, in Kings Street. Both ads were in Polish giving the dealers phone numbers. The Evening Standard reporters have contacted them and bought an English passport and a colour copy of a work permit believed stolen. Just next to the Polish Centre, this window shop with ads for jobs and accommodation is well known resource to the Polish community in London.

The passport cost £600 and the Evening Standard obtained it in just three days. After calling the mobile number provided in the ad placed in Hammersmith, the reporter meet Marek and Leonard Anthony Reed at Soho Square. Marek, according to the paper, came illegally to the UK from Poland four years ago when he was charged smuggling vodka and Reed, from Maidenhead, wanted to sell his British passport since he had two.

The reporter provided a photo for the passport and arranged to meet the next day at the same place. "The photograph has been replaced but the tell-tale Home Office franking at the side of the photograph has been lost", says the report by Nigel Rosser and Tasha Kosviner published last Friday.

Marek also gave the reporter detailed explanation on how falsified documents are obtained: original blank passports are stolen from the official offices in Greece, Belgium and Holland.

Marcin, also Polish, is the dealer of work permits. It cost £60 and the deal is done in just one meeting. Marcin sold to the reporter a colour copy of a Home Office document believed stolen certifying that the holder is a bonna fide asylum seeker and can seek employment if their application is not resolved in six months.

The owner of the King's Convenience Shop, Jai Patel, told the Evening Standard that he was shocked: "I trust what people put up there is honest. I don't speak Polish and normally if something bad is up there people tell me".

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