international money laundering ring hiding dirty cash for a former Manchester
City player turned suspected drug dealer was smashed by Merseyside Police . Ryan
McDowell and his cronies delivered piles of drugs cash stuffed into suitcases
and bin bags to other criminals – who used a technique known as ‘cuckoo
smurfing’ to make it disappear. Today McDowell, 33, of The Meadows, Rainhill , was jailed for five years
at Liverpool Crown Courtafter being observed
channelling at least £550,000 through the ‘professional’ network of money
launderers, and an additional £142,000 through his own bank accounts.Judge
Alan Conrad, QC, sentencing, told him: “Yours was the leading role of the
defendants before the court, in which you were directing operations and dealing
in considerable sums of cash – carrying on over a period of time undeterred by
stops or seizures. Read More ...
Over the past decade or so, expats across the world have been warned time and time again
about crooks posing as financial advisors, but boiler room scammers are the
worst of the entire poisonous pack. Often operating from back-street rooms in the capital cities of many favourite
expat locations, unqualified, briefly-trained and often without legal visas,
these crooks are experts in just one thing – separating their victims from their hard-earned wages, capital and pensions.
Financially unsophisticated expatriates fall for their scripts and lose
everything on a regular basis, whilst the scammers shut up shop and move to
another location to avoid detection. Sadly, the majority get away with it, but occasionally the gang makes a mistake
and ends up in court. Read More ..
18 December 2017, the National Bureau of Investigations of the Slovenian
Police, supported by the Croatian Police and Europol, dismantled an
international crime syndicate involved in sports corruption and illegal
betting. The network had created an illegal web-platform in order to convey
large bets on major Asian bookmakers. In total, 13 house searches and 15
vehicles searches in different locations in Slovenia and Croatia have been
carried out. Read More ...
A Russian man who ran a sophisticated computer hacking network which stole at least £2 million from the bank accounts of UK businesses has been jailed for nine years. Vugar Mollachiev, 37, of Berkeley Gardens, north London, was sentenced to nine years imprisonment at Southwark Crown Court for conspiracy to defraud and money laundering, the Metropolitan Police said.
Evidence from a previous cyber crime investigation identified Mollachiev as being heavily involved in cyber criminality and online fraud. Scotland yard said Mollachiev and his associates used their technical knowledge to infect computers in businesses across the UK and Europe, enabling them to defraud businesses and UK banks out of over £2 million.
Dramatic CCTV footage has emerged showing the moment two money launderers were cornered
by police in an Asda
car park as they
exchanged a bag containing hundreds of thousands of pounds. Fen Chen,
31, was part of a gang that took £1.8million into dozens of London
High Street banks between July 30
and August 15 last year. In the
video, released by the National Crime Agency (NCA), the money launderer can be
seen accepting a bag containing more than £300,000 from Albanian gangster
Fation Koka in the car park in Park Royal, northwest London. Read More...
revealed that it closed accounts linked to South Africa’s Gupta family
corruption investigation, admitting for the first time concerns about its
potential ties to the snowballing scandal. The bank said it had also flagged up its worries to the financial crime
expert who has overseen its money-laundering controls since it was fined a record $1.9bn in 2012 for processing
cash for Mexican drug lords and terrorists. Regulators in the UK are already looking into whether HSBC and another bank,
Standard Chartered, had ties to the Guptas after former cabinet minister Peter
Hain passed a list of transactions to the chancellor warning of their “possible criminal complicity”. HSBC admitted on Friday that it was forced to close bank accounts held by
“front companies” associated with the Guptas. Read More .... _______________________________________
A Greek court decided Wednesday to allow a Russian man accused of
masterminding a multi-billion fraud involving bitcoin to be extradited to the
Alexander Vinnik, the suspected money launderer, is wanted by the U.S. and
Russia for various cyber crimes involving BTC-e, a digital currency exchange
that used bitcoin. The Justice Department said he is wanted for operating an
unlicensed money service business, money laundering, and other crimes.
The Justice Department in its July indictment
said BTC-e, which Vinnik operated, was used to facilitate crimes
ranging from hacking and
identity theft to public corruption and drug trafficking. The exchange brought
in more than $4 billion in bitcoin.
Read More ...
A man who made hundreds of thousands of virtual
pounds producing and selling illegal drugs on the dark web has been jailed for
more than 13 years.
Ross Brennan, 28, conspired with his university
friend Aarron Gledhill, 30, to import and sell powerful class A drugs to
thousands of customers and spent the proceeds on watches, gold, drugs and prostitutes.
The 'sophisticated and arrogant' drug dealer
continued selling drugs despite being aware that some of his customers had
Brennan and Gledhill, who was 'exploited' by his
friend into receiving packages of drugs from around the world, were sentenced
via video link at York Crown Court. Read More ...
Khadija Ismayilova, who has been jailed for her reporting on high-level
corruption, explains why the revelations matter.
Azerbaijan may not mean that much to you.
In the west it is perhaps best known as a plucky winner of the Eurovision song contest, or
maybe easy opponents in qualification for another international football
tournament. It has oil, a Caspian Sea coastline and 10 million people.
But there is another side.
is a crime in my country – the numbers say it all: 10 out of 158 political
prisoners in Azerbaijan
are journalists. The last remaining independent news agency, Turan, stopped
work last week. Read More ...
About 12kg of heroin and £530,000 cash have been found by police during raids at three properties in Merseyside, U.K. The drugs, which have an estimated street value of £1.2m, were discovered at an address in Thatto Heath, St Helens, on Friday along with £500,000. The remaining £30,000 was found in a car outside another property in Huyton. Two men, aged 52 and 56, were arrested on suspicion of conspiracy to supply class A drugs and money laundering, and are being questioned by police. Read More ...
COLUMBUS, Ohio, April 6 (Thomson Reuters Regulatory Intelligence) - As the Islamic State (IS) loses its position in Mosul, Iraq, as well as egress points in Syria, so too begins the strategic withdrawal of Sunni militants and financial assets from the area, which presents a major new challenge to anti-money laundering officers. IS fighters will retreat through human smuggling networks to other countries. The group's illicit proceeds, which total tens of billions of dollars, are derived from plundering banks, siphoning and trafficking of black market oil, kidnapping for ransom, human trafficking, organ trafficking, and stolen antiquities, according to Western governments and analysts. Read More ...
Young men who leave their homes to fight for terrorist groups in Syria mainly come from disadvantaged backgrounds, have low levels of education and “lack any basic understanding of the true meaning of jihad or even the Islamic faith”, according to a new report. A study for the United Nations Office of Counter-Terrorism found that despite claiming to protect Muslims, most of the returned fighters were “novices” in their religion and some did not know how to pray properly. “Most saw their religion in terms of justice and injustice rather than in terms of piety and spirituality,” said the authors of the report, which was based on interviews with 43 people from 12 countries. Read More ...
Children are being targeted by criminals to act as money mules, police have warned. The scam involves transferring stolen money through children's bank accounts to hide it from the authorities. According to The Times, the Met Police wrote to parents warning that pupils were being approached outside school gates and on social media. Det Ch Insp Gary Miles said the Met wanted to "make parents aware so they can discuss this with their children". In a statement, he added: "Children are getting accounts at a younger and younger age - 13-year-olds now have access to money that they didn't have before." Read More ...
Football players with Real Madrid have a pretty good idea about where the best place to live in Madrid is: The La Finca luxury residential complex in the northwestern part of the Spanish city. The development, a 30-minute drive from the training grounds, consists of virtually identical, bunker-like luxury homes with landscaped gardens and pools. There is tight security at the entrance to the community, and there are small parks and ponds. The development is relatively shuttered from the outside world, except for those residents who jog on a path along the perimeter. Read More ...
Four former Lloyds employees were among seven people jailed for 38 years for raiding bank accounts of wealthy clients to fund their luxury lifestyles. Bank workers Courtney Ayinbode, 29, Tajinder Galsinh, 35, Molly Jones, 24, and Benjamin Omoregie, 26, were all involved in the 'high-level and sophisticated' scam that took place between 2012 and 2013. The four insiders scoured the computer system for rarely-accessed accounts holding large sums of money before passing the details to the criminal gang. They also ordered new bank cards so impostors could pose as the customers and set up transfers of hundreds of thousands of pounds at a time. Read More ...
LONDON — Global delegates and campaigners are gathering in Geneva this week for a meeting of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species, known as CITES. The trade in ivory is high on the agenda as poaching continues to hit elephant populations across parts of Africa. Campaigners want tougher enforcement of regulations to tackle organized criminal gangs behind the trade. The United Nations estimates the illegal wildlife trade is worth $23 billion per year, with much of that value coming from ivory. Asia, and especially China, is by far the biggest market. The London-based Environmental Investigation Agency spent three years infiltrating one of the major smuggling syndicates shipping ivory from east African ports. Investigators identified the southern Chinese town of Shuidong as the major hub for poached ivory, they say 80 percent of ivory destined for China passes through the town. Read More ...
Not everyone, it seems, is troubled by the migrant crisis engulfing Sicily. On one side, there are the ruthless criminal gangs making huge sums ferrying people across the Mediterranean – and now it emerges that the Mafia is exploiting the other end of the operation, attracted by the hundreds of millions in EU cash that has been given to Rome. From this fund, including money from British taxpayers, those sheltering and feeding migrants receive £31 per day per person. Mainly it goes to hoteliers, or those owning buildings equipped to house large numbers. Never slow to ‘wet their beaks’, the mob, according to prosecutors, decided it was too good an opportunity to ignore. Read More ...