Radio Sandwell Local News

Money laundering gang jailed for 47 years

2013-06-01 16:12:09

They are the criminals behind a £19 million money laundering scam so brazen that one even sported an 'ARO6ANT' number plate.

But the eight, who cleansed grubby drug money for criminals, have been humbled.

The gang - five from Birmingham - have been jailed for a total of over 47 years. It will be some time before Jalil Ahmed, from Solihull, gets behind the wheel of his gleaming Merc, which sports the eye-catching personalised reg.

Arman Zahir and Sahil Khan, both 27, of Widney Manor Road, Solihull, Jalil Ahmed, 36, of The Copse, Moseley, Khayam Chib, 31, of Rushbrook Grove, Kings Heath, Gary Brockway, 41, of Meadow Road, Stafford and Hussain Aziz, 32, of Kenelm Road, Birmingham, were sentenced to a total of 43-and-a-half years in March.

Abid Hussain, 45 and Arshad Hanif, 52, both from Leeds, were also each handed two-year prison sentences after being found guilty of money laundering at Birmingham Crown Court yesterday.

The group worked with cronies in the Middle East and Pakistan to transfer drug money for criminals both in the UK and Europe.

Officers from the Serious Organised Crime Agency watched as they moved tens-of-thousands of pounds around the country in plastic carrier bags.

A money laundering technique known as "cuckoo smurfing" was used. In the ruse, dirty cash is transferred through the accounts of legitimate and unwitting customers who are expecting genuine payments from overseas.

The investigation resulted in the seizure of more than £730,000 and 1.5kg of heroin.

Officers found the group had laundered about £19 million between January, 2011, and March, 2012.

Judge Simon Drew QC told property developers Hussain and Hanif: "You have both lost your reputations within the community and suffered, no doubt, substantial public humiliation."

Sarah Goodall, SOCA regional head of investigations, said: "Money is the engine that drives organised crime and criminals such as these men are purely motivated by profit.

"The crimes that have been committed to generate the huge sums of cash that this group has helped to launder will have a lasting effect on local communities."

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