- Group made hundreds of trips to the UAE between 2017 and 2019
- Police seized £1.5 million from the crook’s cronies leaving the UK
- But flight analysis and cash declarations suggest they transported far more
A gang of 16 money launderers and people-traffickers sneaked £42million in cash out of the UK to Dubai as part of a massive global operation to hide drug-dealing profits.
The crew were discovered to be smuggling migrants into Britain and millions of pounds out of the country, believed to be profits from selling class A drugs and the cash taken from refugees.
The gang made hundreds of trips to the UAE between 2017 and 2019, including 58 trips to Dubai in 2017 alone.
Gang ringleader Charan Singh (left), 44, and Valjeet Singh (right), 34, were found guilty of conspiring to remove criminal property – known as money laundering. Valjeet Singh was also found guilty on four counts of removing criminal property.
The same gang tried to smuggle 17 migrants – including five children and a pregnant woman – into the UK in 2019 hidden in the back of a van carrying tyres.
Dutch police intercepted the van before it could reach a ferry at the Hook of Holland, the National Crime Agency (NCA) said.
After weeks of surveillance officers pounced on the defendants to carry out dawn raids across west London, including gang ringleader Charan Singh, 44, from Hounslow.
NCA investigators proved Singh, formally a resident of the UAE, paid for flights to Dubai for other gang members to carry cash.
During the first trial at Croydon Crown Court, six people, including Singh, were found guilty of money laundering offences.
Two of that six were also found guilty of facilitating illegal immigration, another defendant only received an immigration charge.
Midway through the second trial six defendants changed their plea to guilty for the money laundering offences, leading to reporting restrictions being lifted on Friday (May 5).
A further two gang members pleaded guilty before trial, according to the NCA.