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Hamilton teens running sophisticated forgery ring arrested

Wednesday 14 July 2010, 2:48PM
By New Zealand Police


Hamilton Police are warning young people in possession of forged drivers licences they risk serious repercussions should they be caught trying to use the false documents.

The warning comes after the arrest of two 17-year-old men involved in a forged licence manufacturing ring on Monday night and Friday.

City Tactical Coordinator, Senior Sergeant Greg Dunn said the level of sophistication involved was of a degree not encountered in the Waikato before.

"Aside from an array of computers, laminators, scanners and printers the group had imported dies, papers and a specialist stamp that replicated the New Zealand Government watermark on the licences.

"They then produced what we estimate to be about 60 drivers licences which they allegedly on-sold, to recoup the cost of their equipment, to associates for prices varying between $30-$60.

Mr Dunn said Police became aware of the ring in May thanks to the vigilance of City bar security staff.

"The unravelling of this ring is down, in a large part, to the strength of the City's Alcohol Accord where the partners work closely with the Police's Alcohol Harm Reduction Team to make Hamilton a safe vibrant place to have a good time, legally."

Mr Dunn said more arrests are expected and Police have a warning for anyone else who may be in possession of the forged documents.

"From what we understand these documents are being used to gain access to bars and we know of one case where one was presented by a 15-year-old to purchase cigarettes.

"But people need to know the serious stakes they're playing for here, the maximum penalty for a person using a forged document is 10 years imprisonment not to mention the difficulty someone would have trying to enter another country with a history of using forged identification."

Mr Dunn said anyone in possession of one of the forged licences should ring the Hamilton Central Police Station (07 858 6200) and ask to speak to Constable Murray MacDonald to arrange surrender of documents before they come to the attention of Police.