A jailed Market Harborough drugs baron has had over £1.8 million seized by a
court. Paul Johnson, 32, ran the worldwide drugs racket from the loft of his
semi-detached house in Northampton Road, Market Harborough. The former KFC fast food worker was locked up for eight years at Leicester Crown
Court in February. Johnson was hauled back to the same court to face a proceeds of crime
hearing to confiscate his ill-gotten gains. The business studies graduate pretended to be a tea trader after setting up
an astonishing international drugs empire. Yorkshire-born Johnson imported and sold over 400lbs of heroin, cocaine,
LSD, cannabis and ketamine. He dealt in bitcoin cryptocurrency currency on the internet's ‘dark web’ – a
favourite haunt of hardcore criminals all over the globe. Read More ...
Using internet dating sites, the group hid behind the false personas of
‘Kevin Churchill’ and ‘Kevin Thompson’, posing as wealthy businessmen with
international lifestyles to target women in a bid to persuade them of their
genuine romantic interest.
Over time the fraudsters got to know their victims and then started asking
to borrow money citing everything from help paying for veterinary bills, to
legal fees and travel costs. Believing they were in a loving relationship, two
victims handed over a total of £240,000 between 2016 and 2017.
Following their conviction last year, Surrey and Sussex financial
investigators began the complex work of pursuing the five people using the
Proceeds of Crime Act legislation. Read More ...
UK bookmaker Betfred has been penalized £322k for failing to
determine whether one of its high-volume customers was gambling with stolen
The UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) announced that it had
reached a settlement with Betfred’s parent company Petfre (Gibraltar) Limited
that will see the company return £140k in pilfered funds, make a £182k payment
in lieu of a financial penalty and pay costs of £15k. The £182k will go toward
accelerating the UKGC’s National Strategy to Reduce Gambling Harms.
The UKGC began its probe into
Betfred after receiving information regarding a customer who’d been convicted
of a £2m fraud, much of which ended up being spent with several UK bookmakers. In Betfred’s
case, the customer deposited a total of £210k and lost £140k over a 12-day
period in November 2017. Read More ...
On 13 November 2019, the German Federal Police (Bundespolizei) and the Romanian Police (Poliția Română) supported by Europol, concluded their operation into a large criminal network smuggling migrants
to western Europe in lorries. Austria, Hungary, the United Kingdom and Eurojust also took part in this two-year, Europe-wide operation.
During this last phase of the operation, the Romanian Police carried out eight searches and arrested four suspected members of the organised crime group. The German Federal Police carried out five searches. Read More ...
major accountancy firm covered up evidence of smuggling by an
organised crime gang that was laundering British drug money, an
investigation has revealed.
EY failed to report suspicious activity at one of the world's
largest gold refineries and then altered a compliance report to hide
BBC Panorama found the gang laundered money by selling 3.6 tonnes
of gold to the Kaloti refinery in Dubai.
Both EY and Kaloti deny any wrongdoing.
Twenty-seven members of the money laundering gang were jailed in
France in 2017. Read More ...
A FLEET of supercars seized from a dictator’s playboy
son sold for £21.9million at an auction today. A total of 25 cars which had belonged to Teodorin Nguema Obiang, the son of
Equatorial Guinea’s ruler Tedoro Obiang Nguema, who has been in power for 40
years, went under the hammer in Switzerland.
The cars, which included Lamborghinis, Ferraris, Bentleys and Rolls Royces
fetched around £21.9m ($27m) in total at the auction held at the Domaine de
Bonmmont golf club on the edge of Geneva, Switzerland.
The cars had been seized as part of a money-laundering investigation into
One of the cars, a 2014 white Lamborghini Veneno Roadster, which was
described as “rare and remarkable” sold for £6.8m ($8.3m) to an anonymous
buyer. Read More ...
A 'wholly dishonest' accountant who helped criminals launder money and
commit mortgage frauds has been jailed. David Pape, 44, operated his accountancy business in Glossop while appearing to
be a respected member of the business community.
But he was living a double life, secretly helping two convicted drug dealers
including William ‘Billy’ Black launder criminal cash. Judge Timothy Smith told him: "This view of respectability was a false
one. It shows you were wholly dishonest and manipulative. "All the while Pape was amassing huge gambling debts, losing £300,000 in five
years on sports bets. He had himself banned from his local branch of Ladbrokes, but his gambling
Despite these debts, Pape, who was Black's accountant, used an expensive car
and had high value watches, Manchester Crown Court heard. Judge Smith said his gambling debts were 'in conflict with the lifestyle you
wished to lead, and wished to be seen to be leading'. The judge said Pape 'put the profession you claim to hold so dear into
disrepute'. Read More ...
Eight members of a gang which stole £34m in tax
money and laundered £87m after selling illicit alcohol have been jailed.
The gang headed by Jayesh Shah, Riaz Khan, Fiaz Raja and Muhammad Rasool ran
a "missing trader" VAT fraud.
They laundered their proceeds through more than 50 bank accounts in Britain,
Cyprus, Hong Kong, and Dubai.
HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) said the sums stolen were equivalent to
"1,400 newly-qualified teachers' salaries".
A ninth member of the Berkshire-based group was given a suspended sentence.
An investigation by HMRC found the gang operated from an office in Eton High
Street, and then moved to Windsor during the two-year fraud between January
2013 and January 2015.
They created a complex chain of paperwork detailing fictitious transactions,
which were used as a cover for the illicit sale of smuggled alcohol. Read More ...
A judge has ordered the
confiscation of bitcoin worth more than £900,000 from a jailed hacker in the
first case of its kind for the Metropolitan police.
Grant West, 27 – previously
described as a “one-man cybercrime wave” – had about £1m-worth of the
cryptocurrency seized from a number of accounts after his arrest in September
2017, but the value of bitcoin has since fluctuated radically, complicating
attempts to compensate victims.
Proceedings in Southwark crown
court on Friday morning were temporarily stalled as the order signed by West
agreeing to the confiscation of the cryptocurrency related to a higher amount
than that which was confiscated.
Eventually announcing the order
under the Proceeds of Crime Act, the judge, Joanna Korner QC, said: “I
therefore order a confiscation of that amount, £915,305.77, to be paid as a way
of compensation to the losers.” Read More ...
UK’s Ladbrokes Coral Group has been fined US$7.3
million for “systemic failings” in protecting problem gamblers and stopping
An investigation from the Gambling Commission found
that between November 2014 and October 2017, Ladbrokes Coral allowed stolen
money to “flow through its business” due to “unacceptable” shortcomings.
Among the key failings highlighted in the report
- Ladbrokes not carrying out any social responsibility interactions
with a customer who lost UK£98,000 over two-and-a-half years, had 460
attempted deposits into their account declined and who even asked to
operator to stop sending them promotions.
- Corals failing to check source of funds of customer who spent
UK£1.5million over two years and 10 months. The gambler displayed signs of
problem gambling by logging in on average 10 times a day, and lost
UK£64,000 in one month alone.
- Ladbrokes allowed someone who they identified as a problem gambler
to carry on playing without taking further steps to verify source of funds
or if the customer could afford to gamble that amount.
These failings continued after the Ladbrokes Coral
Group merger. Read More ...