Six people have been sentenced to a total of over 28 years for their involvement in a money laundering enterprise.
Razwan Munir, Mohammed Kamran Chaudhry, Nokhaz Haider, Imran Sarwar, Umar Haq and Waqar Afzal were sentenced at Manchester Crown Court after pleading guilty to their involvement.
Nigel James, Specialist Prosecutor at the International Justice and Organised Crime Division of the Crown Prosecution Service, said:
“These individuals were part of a sophisticated money laundering enterprise involving around £10 million. They received cash from crimes like drug dealing and paid it into bank accounts. They then transferred the money abroad to hide its criminal origin from authorities.
“The CPS worked with the police to build a strong case which led to them pleading guilty. The evidence included telephone records, such as the number of calls made and at what times. We also looked at messages between the individuals, including Imran Sarwar joking in October 2014 that the target for laundering cash was £9 million by Christmas.
“There was clear evidence the individuals were living lavish lifestyles beyond their declared incomes, shown by their frequent holidays abroad, expensive cars and receipts for designer clothes.
“The CPS will now take steps to recover the criminal assets of these individuals under the Proceeds of Crime Act.”
At first the defendants went to the Post Office depositing £5,000 in cash, which then increased to £10,000 a day.
At one point, they took in holdalls carrying £100,000 cash. One Post Office estimated that about £2 million was paid in at a branch. This cash was paid into bank accounts which were held in the names of dormant limited companies to give the appearance of legitimate trading.
Entering into or becoming concerned in a money laundering arrangement, contrary to section 328(1) of the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002.
Razwan Munir – Nine years imprisonment
Mohammed Kamran Chaudhry – Four years, seven months imprisonment
Nokhaz Haider – Four years, six months imprisonment
Imran Sarwar – Four years, six months imprisonment
Umar Haq – Three years imprisonment
Waqar Afzal – Three years imprisonment