Men who took part in a scan involving fake European passports and identity documents have been jailed.

Cristian Grebinschi, 49, of Tudor Crescent, Ilford, and Alexandru Muraru, 34, of Norman Road, Leyton, both Romanian nationals, pleaded guilty to possessing illegal documents with intent and one count of possessing equipment for manufacturing counterfeits.

Muraru admitted to possessing a Class A drug.

The operation was dismantled by Immigration Enforcement’s Criminal and Financial Investigation (CFI) team.

The investigation started in September 2017, when Border Force officers intercepted and seized a package containing four counterfeit Italian passports en route to an address in New York.

Financial enquiries provided enough evidence to obtain a search warrant for Grebinschi’s flat and another property that he rented on Norman Road.

It was in the property on Norman Road that CFI officers discovered equipment for producing fake documents, including a high-quality printer, laminator, and stereoscope magnifier. As well as forged driving licenses, passports, identity cards and construction certificates – used to gain employment in the UK construction sector – officers found a number of blank Italian passports.

In addition to the fake documents, Muraru had class A drugs and £14,740 in cash in his desk.

This money was forfeited in court, as was the £1,600 seized at Grebinschi’s home address in Tudor Crescent.

When questioned, Grebinschi admitted to creating counterfeit documents, offering his services to customers both in the UK and abroad.

Financial investigations showed that Grebinschi had received cash transfers totalling approximately £84,000. Proceedings are underway to identify any further profits which have resulted from the criminal activity.

Grebinschi was sentenced to 28 months in jail and Muraru received a total of ten months, plus two months for the drugs offences to be served consecutively.

Inspector Chris Barton of the CFI team said: “Through our investigations, we have uncovered a professional and organised counterfeits operation.

"This scam, driven by profit, supplied fake documents into the hands of individuals for what could only have been unlawful purposes, including convincing prospective employers that they had the right to work in the UK.

"This criminal enterprise has now been stopped in its tracks with the jailing of this pair.

“Our message to others that might be tempted to involve themselves in this type of criminality is simple: we will find you and we will bring you to justice.”