News In Focus
10 years for leader of £30 million laundering racket
Asif Ali, the leader of a gang who laundered £30m of criminal cash through a network of money transfer offices, was jailed at Southwark Crown Court for 10 years on Friday. The decision marked the end of a complex investigation by HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC), in which Mr Ali was found to have controlled a network of crooked money transfer offices, believed to have netted him a personal profit of up to £759,000 in just six months.
Ali owned KB Money Transfer in Watford, but also controlled money service businesses registered in the names of his brother, sister-in-law and various employees. These were used to mask the huge sums of criminal cash passing through his bank accounts to foreign destinations. He produced fake business records on a daily basis to make the cash appear legitimate.
Undercover surveillance carried out by HMRC showed criminals, who have since been convicted of money laundering, were delivering cash to be laundered by Ali.
He was arrested outside his house, receiving more than £96,000 in cash in a black bin bag from Ibrahim Patel. Searches of money service businesses in Watford, Southall and Manchester led to the arrest of Mohmed Patel, who was also jailed today for four years. More than £400,000 in cash was seized in total.
Peter Millroy, Assistant Director of Criminal Investigation for HMRC, said: “Organised crime groups will stop at nothing in their bid to build vast portfolios of cash, properties, performance cars and other luxury items at the expense of the taxpayer. HMRC’s dedicated teams of investigators will pursue and bring to justice those who attempt to disguise and hide the illegal profits of other criminals.”
Confiscation proceedings are underway.