Manchester Crown Court has handed prison sentences to three men who attempted to scam a jeweller by building a fake, hollow desk.
A gang were caught constructing a ‘Trojan horse’ desk for a £1.5 million sting against a Manchester jeweller during a deal to buy gold.
The desk was built to hide one of the gang members, who would then switch a suitcase containing Euros with counterfeit currency.
Detectives believe that the men planned to keep the real cash in a holdall inside a drawer in the desk. This would be shown to the jeweller before the man in hiding switched the notes.
The police found the cabinet drawer contained 2.2 million Euros in fake notes, in addition to £52,000 worth of authentic currency.
Similar stints have been carried out across Europe, where other businesses have been conned out of gold bullion and jewellery worth millions.
After admitting conspiracy to defraud and possession of counterfeit currency, the men aged between 37 and 73, were imprisoned for two years and eight months.