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 ...
Authorities in Singapore
have seized 11.9 tonnes of pangolin scales and 8.8 tonnes of elephant ivory
from a container being shipped to Vietnam.
The National Parks Board, Singapore Customs and the Immigration and
Checkpoints Authority said on Tuesday it was the city-state's third major
seizure of pangolin (anteater) scales this year and its largest seizure of
elephant ivory to date. "The seized pangolin scales and elephant ivory will be destroyed to
prevent them from re-entering the market," a statement said. The haul came on Sunday from a container en route to Vietnam from the
Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) after
a tip-off from China's
Authorities estimated the tusks from nearly 300 African elephants were
worth $12.9m. They said the value of the pangolin scales belonging to about 2,000 of
the endangered mammals was $35.7m. The pangolin is said to be the most widely
trafficked mammal in the world. Its scales are made of keratin and are ground
up to use in traditional medicines. Its meat is considered a delicacy in
Vietnam and China. Read More ...
Online sex trafficking ring active in Finland, Spain and Sweden busted
and €1.5 million of criminal profits frozen in Hong Kong-based accounts.
Webmaster targeted a Finnish organised criminal group involved in human
trafficking for sexual exploitation and money laundering. The joint operation
led to six arrests, 16 website shutdowns and multiple seizures of cash and
luxury goods. Following the action day on 26 March 2019, the suspects’ bank
accounts in 12 different countries were frozen. With support from Europol and
Eurojust, the Spanish National Police (Policía Nacional) joined forces with
national authorities from 14* other countries to bring down the trafficking
Spanish authorities opened an investigation in 2016 targeting a Finnish
national suspected of human trafficking for sexual exploitation and money
laundering. The main suspect, based in Marbella, Spain, was allegedly managing
websites advertising sexual services. The operation was triggered by an investigation
into an organised crime group trafficking victims of predominantly Nigerian
origin. The website was advertising services of victims from different
countries based in Sweden and Finland. Other organised criminal groups involved
in similar activities were also advertising the services of their victims on
these websites. Read More ...
as young as 11 have been targeted to launder dirty gang money
10,686 under-21s were caught acting as mules last year - a 26 per cent
gangs use the 'clean' bank accounts of young children to deposit and move
Criminals are recruiting
schoolchildren as young as 11 to launder their dirty money.
Ruthless gangs have been
targeting children on their way to school to enlist them as ‘mules’, police
Although gangs have long
used others’ bank accounts to hide their activity, a Daily Mail investigation
can reveal the scale of the threat to young people.
Many are lured with
promises of quick, easy cash if they let strangers use their accounts to
deposit and move funds. In return, they keep a cut – sometimes as little as £60
– or are given ‘prizes’ such as a pair of trainers. Read More ...
A Sun Online investigation
reveals more than 300 of these villas have been built, paid for by the hundreds
of children sent to beg and steal on the streets of Britain.
some just toddlers, are ruthlessly exploited by Fagin-like gangs run by Roma
a miserable life of petty crime, each child can earn £100,000 in 12 months, as
part of a £24million a year child smuggling ring, while their identities and
fake child documents are used to swindle millions in benefits from the UK tax
2010, there was hope these children's ordeal was at an end when a major joint
operation involving 300 officers from Scotland Yard, Romania and Europol saw 26
ring leaders arrested. Read More..
That failure, along with a long-standing low prosecution
rate for wildlife smuggling, has sparked concerns from experts, who called on
Hong Kong authorities to put more money into investigations and make the
offence a more serious crime with stiffer penalties.
Confirmation that the case had hit a dead end came 1½
years after the Customs and Excise Department announced in July 2017 that it
had seized more than seven tonnes of tusks worth about HK$70 million in a
shipment of frozen fish from Malaysia. Read More ...