Saturday, 19 February 2011

Drug money couriers jailed for role in international gang

Drug money couriers jailed for role in international gang  "Two Manchester men helped run an international money laundering racket moving drugs worth more than £1m every month.

The gang travelled around the country collecting up to £160,000 in plastic carrier bags from criminal associates.

They used a method of money laundering called ‘cuckoo smurfing’ to hide it.

The scam centres on corrupt money bureau staff in foreign countries. When the parents of a foreign student make a money transfer to a relative in the UK the clean money is siphoned off to a bank account the criminals can access.

The bureau staff then send a text to the criminals tipping them off about the size of payment and to who it has been made. The criminals then go into a bank and pay dirty drugs money, which they have collected in Britain, into that account.

City of Gold: Dubai and the Dream of CapitalismUndercover Serious Organised Crime Agency officers watched every move of such a racket run by a gang out of a house in Birmingham. The gang received texts from Dubai, Afghanistan and Iran with instructions on which student accounts money should be paid into.

The investigation led to the seizure of £600,000 and 20 kilos of heroin.

A coded ledger of the gang’s financial transactions was found at a house they used to store the money before it was banked."

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