Eight men have been imprisoned for money laundering following a successful SOCA investigation into their criminal activities. The gang, which consisted of five men from the East Midlands, two from Leeds and a further man, have in total been sentenced to over 47 years for their parts in the crime.
The arrest and subsequent sentencing of the men is the result of an investigation by the Serious Organised Crime Agency (SOCA). The men’s activities were investigated between May 2011 and March 2012. Over £730,000 of cash and 1.5kg of heroin were seized as part of the SOCA operation. Officers investigating the case were able to account £19 million in funds that had been laundered; mainly drug money for UK and Europe-based criminals; during the period of their investigation alone.
The men, who worked with a network of criminal contacts in Pakistan and the Middle East to transfer the money, were observed by SOCA investigators carrying thousands of pounds around the UK in plastic carrier bags.
It is said that the gang used a particular technique, known as ‘cuckoo smurfing’, to carry out the money laundering. The technique involves the transfer of funds into the bank accounts of innocent customers who are expecting genuine payments into their accounts.
The investigation and imprisonment of the men has been hailed as a victory in the fight against serious and organised crime. 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”.
Frenkels Forensics is a forensic accountancy practice that specialises in assisting solicitors in preparing criminal defence cases; investigating and analysing the financial information in money laundering and other types of fraud cases. Our experts are also able to act as expert witnesses in court to assist in the defence case.