Crim­i­nals’ lux­ury goods auc­tioned for £2m-plus

South Wales Evening Post - - LETTERS -

NEWPORT A house in Florida, lux­ury cars and de­signer watches and clothes all seized from crim­i­nals have been auc­tioned off in Newport. The auc­tion saw as­sets taken as the re­sult of a £35 mil­lion money laun­der­ing case go un­der the ham­mer along­side lux­ury goods worth around £5.5 mil­lion on Wed­nes­day. Bid­ders had the chance to buy watches by Rolex and Omega along­side Mer­cedes-benz cars and Land Rovers dur­ing the un­re­served gov­ern­ment auc­tion at Wil­sons Auc­tions. All 90 lots were sold and raised a to­tal of £2.1 mil­lion. The as­sets came from a pen­sioner-led gang of 16 peo­ple who laun­dered £35 mil­lion in dirty money, who were jailed for a to­tal of 73 years in 2015. Ring­leader Harpal Singh Gill, 67, from Smeth­wick in the West Mid­lands, set up bo­gus cloth­ing and tex­tile com­pa­nies to fun­nel the money from drugs deals out of the UK be­tween 2007 and 2013. But the so­phis­ti­cated money laun­der­ing op­er­a­tion was smashed by of­fi­cers from the Na­tional Crime Agency who dis­cov­ered thou­sands of pounds stashed in plas­tic bags. Birm­ing­ham Crown Court heard that 20 fake com­pa­nies were used to fun­nel the money abroad through money ser­vice bu­reaus. Couri­ers were em­ployed to col­lect bags of money from crim­i­nal gangs across the coun­try.

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