Two men from Forest Hill have been jailed for a total of more than six years after they planned to distribute £640,000 counterfeit bank notes throughout the south of England.

Samuel Alexander, 25, of Duncombe Hill and Dean Evans, 36, of Brockley Park, pleaded guilty to conspiring to distribute the fake notes and were sentenced at Croydon Crown Court on Monday, June 11.

The court heard the pair were involved in a plan to distribute Bank of Scotland £50 and £100 notes to pay for low-cost items, maximising the amount of real money they received in change.

In total, more than 200 transactions of the fake cash were identified in London and surrounding areas from March 2016 and October 2017.

Evans was identified as the ringleader of the conspiracy, using a team of suited and booted fraudsters who presented themselves as businessmen who had returned from trips to Scotland to trick shop staff.

Alexander was considered the supervisor of the operation, overseeing the distribution of the profits.

In their sentencing, Alexander was jailed for two years and eight months and Evans was sentenced to four years and three months in prison.

DI Andy Durham said: “These defendants attempted to use hundreds of thousands of fake Scottish banknotes. The arrest of the individuals behind the conspiracy has disrupted the supply of these bank notes and, recent intelligence, suggests very few are left in circulation.

“This case demonstrates how criminals can often create a convincing back story to explain the use of large amounts of cash. Incidents of counterfeit notes being used are low but retailers are urged to check banknotes carefully, people trying to use a counterfeit note will often use it to buy a low value item.”