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Not just bank statements

Service Area: Criminal and Regulatory

Member: Roger Isaacs

Police investigating an alleged international money laundering gang have made a series of arrests in London.

In total, 10 suspects were arrested for allegedly being part of ‘a well-orchestrated conspiracy’ to launder an estimated £15.5 million made through Class A drugs and organised immigration crime, transferring it from the UK to Dubai over the last three years.

Investigators seized cash, drugs and luxury cars during the raid but, interestingly, a lot of their evidence hinges on the study of travel documents.

The group is suspected of flying the cash out of the UK to the Middle East hidden in suitcases, and examinations of travel history suggest that the gang transported more than £14 million in 2017 and 2018 alone.

The arrests follow an investigation into the gang by the National Crime Agency (NCA), which looked into cash seizures totalling more than £1.5 million made by Border Force officers this year.

As one of the investigators pointed out, cash is the lifeblood of organised crime groups and they need the services of money launderers.

The NCA is determined to do all it can to target illicit financial flows and was helped in the investigation by the National Economic Crime Centre (NECC), which arranged forensic analysis of seized banknotes.

The investigation will have been triggered by the finding of large amounts of cash on flights to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and then reinforced by examination of the cash and travel documents.

The investigators will have used the evidence to justify the issue of an arrest warrant.

If the case comes to court, these experts will help to produce a clear report, laying out their findings to assist the judge and jurors with their deliberations.

Milsted Langdon’s Forensic Partner, Roger Isaacs, said: “This is a complex case involving investigations across several jurisdictions around the world. Money laundering is a serious crime and the Courts and police forces must be able to demonstrate how money is moved between various parties and ‘cleansed’. The role of forensic accountants and investigators is vital in these types of cases and highlights their value to the justice system.”

Author: Roger Isaacs
25 November 2019