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Wednesday, Dec 11, 2019

10 of Indian-origin held for money-laundering, trafficking in UK; illegal drugs and luxury cars recovered

The nine men and one woman, aged between 30 and 44, were arrested on Wednesday as part of an investigation into a conspiracy to launder millions of pounds of money made through drug trafficking and organised immigration crime.

world Updated: Nov 22, 2019 16:05 IST
Prasun Sonwalkar
Prasun Sonwalkar
Hindustan Times, London
Officials said that examination of travel history suggested that the crime group transported more than £14 million in 2017 and 2018 alone.
Officials said that examination of travel history suggested that the crime group transported more than £14 million in 2017 and 2018 alone.(Photo: Sourced/ nationalcrimeagency.gov.uk)
         

Britain’s crime officials have charged ten Indian-origin members of an organised crime group believed to have flown an estimated £15.5 million out of the UK to Dubai in suitcases over last three years and trying to smuggle 17 people into the country earlier this year.

The nine men and one woman, aged between 30 and 44, were arrested on Wednesday as part of an investigation into a conspiracy to launder millions of pounds of money made through drug trafficking and organised immigration crime.

Based in or near Southall and Hounslow, they were each charged with conspiracy to launder criminal cash and being a member of an organised crime group following investigation by the National Crime Agency (NCA), the Dubai Police, Border Force and Scotland Yard.

The ten individuals are: Charan Singh, 41; Valjeet Singh, 30; Jasbir Singh Dhal, 28; Sundar Vengadassalam, 44; Jasbeer Singh Malhotra, 33; Pinky Kapur, 35; and Manmon Singh Kapur, 44. The following were charged with the same offences and an additional charge of conspiracy to assist unlawful immigration: Swander Singh Dhal, 33; Jasbir Singh Kapoor, 31; and Diljan Malhotra, 43.

Officials said that examination of travel history suggested that the crime group transported more than £14 million in 2017 and 2018 alone. Cash, illegal drugs and luxury cars, including Range Rovers, Audi Q7s and BMW 5 series, were recovered during raids in Hounslow, Hayes, Uxbridge and Southall.

The raids were conducted after more than £1.5 million were seized at airports made by Border Force officers during 2019. In all cases the cash was being transported between UK airports and ports and the United Arab Emirates.

Chris Hill of the NCA said: “Cash is the lifeblood of organised crime groups and they need the services of money launderers. We believe that the action we and our partners have taken will have caused permanent damage to a well-established money laundering network”.

Ben Russell of the National Economic Crime Centre added: “The National Economic Crime Centre (NECC) was able to assist the case team in arranging forensic analysis of seized bank notes. We were also able to use our relationships with our international partners in the UAE to obtain evidence in relation to this case”.