Hologram Tam – The Legend

29 10 2007

Thomas McAnea, 58, a Scotsman spearheaded one of the most sophisticated counterfeiting operations ever seen in Britain, producing fake banknotes that were found across the country.

Thomas is known in the criminal community for his ability to create accurate forgeries which earned him his reputation and his nickname – Tam the Hologram.

Magic fingers and an unerring eye gave “Hologram Tam”, one of the best forgers in Europe, the skills to produce counterfeit banknotes so authentic that when he was arrested nearly £700,000 worth were in circulation.

Thomas McAnea, 58, who was jailed for six years and four months yesterday, was the kingpin of a professional operation based in Glasgow that, according to police, had the capacity to produce £2 million worth of fake notes a day – enough potentially tom destabilise the British economy. More may remain out there undetected.

He had evaded a long prison sentence in 2000 on a technicality after being caught with £1.6 million of counterfeit money.

McAnea could have been living in a fabulous mansion in the Glasgow suburbs, like the drug barons to whom he was a service industry. But the expert forger of holograms and watermarks had no such aspirations. He was unambitious and nondescript, with a serious drink problem. Police sources say that he appeared to have barely two pennies to rub together. Instead, Hologram Tam seemed motivated by the satisfaction of a job well done. – Times Online

The gang developed a system which had the potential to produce £1 million in forgeries every two to three hours.

The raid on the premises in St George’s Road, Maryhill, in January, uncovered what police said was like a “scene from a film”, with blank sheets of paper at one end of the press, the printing plates ready to go and test sheets already produced.

Other raids across the city resulted in the recovery of thousands of pounds of counterfeit euros. There were also fake drivers’ licences, passports and other documents. – Scotsman.com