UK convicts couriers who smuggled £104M cash into Dubai in suitcases on flights


Abu Dhabi: A network of criminal cash couriers caught smuggling 104 million pounds (Rs 10,69,96,30,697) of suspicious money in suitcases from United Kingdom (UK)

UK’s National Crime Agency said on Wednesday, April 26, that eleven smugglers had been convicted, along with the ringleader. 

Four of the business class-flying smugglers were found guilty on Tuesday— 26-year-old  Beatrice Auty from London; 55-year-old Jonathan Johnson,  and 44-year-old Jo Emma Larvin, both from Ripon, North Yorkshire, and Amy Harrison, 27, from Worcester Park in Surrey, – at Isleworth Crown Court.

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The agency accused the smugglers of participating in 83 separate trips between November 2019 and October 2020, to smuggle bags full of drug money.

Smuggling method

The smugglers boarded business-class flights to take advantage of the increased baggage allowance, and check-in as soon as possible before departure. 

Smugglers have concealed sums of up to 500,000 pounds (Rs 5,14,60,750) by filling them in coffee cans or spraying them with air fresheners to mask the smell from police dogs at airports. 

The gang members communicated via WhatsApp groups called Sunshine and Lollipops.

The British police had targeted the routes used to launder money for suspicious activities in London via Dubai, fearing that the money would be difficult to track once it was removed from the country. 

“The laundering of such vast quantities of cash around the globe enables organised criminals and corrupt elites to clean or hide their ill-gotten gains.”

“Cash smugglers typically work on behalf of international controller networks, who move the finances of the international drug trade, people traffickers, fraudsters and other criminal groups, making the source of the money difficult to trace.”

“The criminality this enables costs the UK billions every year, causes misery and ruins lives across the world.”

“This case demonstrates the continued commitment by the NCA to crackdown on money laundering and close the vulnerabilities being exploited.”

said Adrian Searle, the NCA’s Director of the National Economic Crime Centre.

Couriers were paid about 3,000 pounds (Rs 3,08,660) for each trip.

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( With inputs from )

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