Piles of cash found in wardrobe

Man jailed for money laun­der­ing made thou­sands from un­taxed al­co­hol

Harefield Gazette - - NEWS - by Kather­ine Cle­men­tine kather­ine.cle­men­tine@trin­i­tymir­ror.com

A HAYES man has been jailed for laun­der­ing a six-fig­ure sum of ‘dirty’ money, from sales of un­taxed al­co­hol.

Gur­bax Singh, 46, was handed a three-and-a-half year prison sen­tence last week af­ter us­ing his al­co­hol whole­sale busi­nesses, Phoenix Whole­sale Trad­ing Ltd (PWT Ltd), in Il­ford, and UKK Wines Ltd in Rom­ford, to trade in nonUK duty paid al­co­hol.

His ac­com­plice, James Meek­ings, 36, of Gor­don Road, Thur­rock, Es­sex, acted as a cash courier to clean up the ‘dirty’ money and was sen­tenced to 12 months’ im­pris­on­ment, sus­pended for two years. He was also or­dered to un­der­take 250 hours un­paid work.

Al­to­gether, the pair were found to have laun­dered cash to­talling £166,000 in an in­ves­ti­ga­tion by HM Rev­enue and Cus­toms (HMRC).

David Mar­gree, as­sis­tant di­rec­tor at HMRC’s Fraud In­ves­ti­ga­tion Ser­vice, said: “Singh and Meek­ings re­ceived sub­stan­tial amounts of cash which they knew were the prof­its from crime.

“They had no re­gard that they were steal­ing from the tax­payer and de­priv­ing the na­tion’s fi­nances of money needed to fund pub­lic ser­vices.”

Singh, of Yead­ing Fork, Hayes, was ar­rested in June 2014, af­ter HMRC of­fi­cers ob­served him leav­ing a cash and carry in Croy­don.

He was car­ry­ing a box and a black bag, which were found to con­tain £16,000 in cash.

Of­fi­cers also found £50,000 cash hid­den in the spare tyre com­part­ment in the boot of his ve­hi­cle.

A fur­ther £100,000 cash was found, dur­ing a search of his home ad­dress, hid­den in a wardrobe and sealed in car­rier bags.

Meek­ings was also ar­rested in June 2014, af­ter of­fi­cers ob­served him leav­ing UKK Wines Ltd with a black holdall.

The bag con­tained almost £50,000 in cash and of­fi­cers also found £4,165 in the glove box of his car and a fur­ther £4,800 hid­den in a plas­tic con­tainer of ‘pro­tein pow­der’ at his home ad­dress.

Both men were found guilty on Tues­day April 26 af­ter a trial at Snares­brook Crown Court in North-East Lon­don and sen­tenced on Tues­day May 24 the same court.

They had no re­gard that they were steal­ing from the tax­payer”

n WADS: HMRC of­fi­cers found cash in Singh’s car boot, glove­box and in bags at his home

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