Fraudsters steal £700,000 from Royal Mint in online heist as Labour warns 'the parasites are going unpunished'

26 September 2023, 23:44 | Updated: 27 September 2023, 00:01

Labour hit out after £700,000 was stolen from the Royal Mint
Labour hit out after £700,000 was stolen from the Royal Mint. Picture: Alamy
Natasha Clark

By Natasha Clark

Police have been hauled in after fraudsters stole £700,000 from the Royal Mint.

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Chiefs were alerted to the mysterious online heist after a series of suspicious transactions from their website - which sells a range of previous jewellery and metals.

The Mint also sells rare coins and collectors items, and blocks of gold.

The highest value item currently available for sale is a limited edition set of one hundred 1oz gold bullion coins, depicting Queen Elizabeth II on one side and Britannia on the other, which retails at £163,244.55.

An internal probe has also been launched to find out how the transactions - which were understood to be of multiple small sums - went undetected last year.

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Treasury Minister Andrew Griffith admitted that a "small number" of fraudulent transactions were made on their website.

Shadow Attorney General Emily Thornberry, said: "The chances of being a victim of fraud in our country are now almost two hundred times greater than the chances that the perpetrator of that fraud will go to prison.

The Royal Mint has called in police
The Royal Mint has called in police. Picture: Alamy

"That is the price we pay for a government which has allowed fraud to grow out of control and the parasites behind this epidemic to act with impunity.

"That is also why many modern crime gangs are swapping their shotguns and getaway cars for computers and cloned credit cards.

"The rewards are the same, but the risks of being caught and punished are far less.

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Thornberry hit out after the crime was revealed
Thornberry hit out after the crime was revealed. Picture: Alamy

"We urgently need a Labour government that will treat fraud with the seriousness it deserves and protect our businesses, public services and communities against the criminals responsible."

A spokesperson for The Royal Mint said: "We identified a number of fraudulent transactions on our website earlier this year, none of which affected our customers or their data.

"We took immediate action to prevent further cases and the matter has been referred to the police and relevant authorities."