A man has been sentenced after admitting making hundreds of false documents from an attic in Battersea.

Carpio Gonzalez, a 46-year-old Ecuadorian national, was arrested by National Crime Agency officers in Battersea just over two years ago, on April 10, 2019.

He'd previously been linked with a false passport carried by a man suspected of illegally smuggling migrants into the UK.

A search of his Battersea home revealed that he’d set up his attic as a dedicated workspace for the production of counterfeit passports of various European nationalities, including French, Belgian and Portuguese.

Gonzalez used the space to produce "hundreds of false documents, with investigators believing his activity dated back to at least 2011", the NCA said.

Your Local Guardian: Gonzalez said he used money from making the false documents to fund a gambling habit. Image: NCA Gonzalez said he used money from making the false documents to fund a gambling habit. Image: NCA

"Following Carpio Gonzalez’s arrest, the NCA shared his DNA with European partners under the Prüm Convention.

"This enabled him to be linked to the supply of fake passports to a German criminal network," they added.

Gonzalez pleaded guilty in November last year, and later admitted that he had produced the passports for financial gain, saying it was to fund a gambling habit.

He appeared at Inner London Crown Court yesterday (April 20), where he received a two year jail term suspended for two years, plus two hundred hours community service, a thirty day rehabilitation order and an £800 fine.

He was also ordered to forfeit and dispose of all of the false passports and the equipment used in their manufacture.

"The NCA works to tackle those who enable serious and organised crime like people smuggling, whether it be those who produce fake identify documents, transportation or financial services," Branch Commander Mark McCormack said.

"We are determined to disrupt and dismantle people smugglers’ business models at every step."