UK

Money-laundering courier caught after texting police

A student caught carrying £250,000 cash in a suitcase at a train station was part of a sophisticated underground banking scheme, detectives have said.

Yuming Dong, 21, used the rail network to transport huge amounts of illegal money across the country.

Detectives said he was part of a scheme which operated among students at the University of Manchester and involved “large scale money laundering and deception”.

He turned himself in after a probe by British Transport Police and was found guilty of money laundering at Manchester Crown Court.

Dong operated as a courier, travelling on at least two occasions between London and Manchester to transport over £400,000 of illicit cash to be used as a cash pool.

On one of these occasions, Dong effectively handed himself in when he texted British Transport Police to report a suspicious person on board carrying a large yellow suitcase.

Officers boarded the train at Manchester Piccadilly and found £255,000 in cash in his suitcase.

He was arrested on suspicion of money laundering and the cash was seized.

A search of his address revealed a diary with mention of money laundering and used train tickets from previous visits to London to collect cash.

Further enquiries conducted on the number he used to text the police revealed the extent of his involvement in the criminal conspiracy.

As the investigation developed, evidence revealed that a second University of Manchester student, Hong Qian Wang, performed the role of the banker in the scheme.

She pleaded guilty to money laundering at Manchester Crown Court on 11 March 2021 and was sentenced to two years in prison.

Dong was sentenced to 18 months imprisonment, suspended for two years, on 28 July this year.

Speaking after sentencing, Detective Inspector Granville Sellers, from British Transport Police, said: “This was a complex and painstaking investigation which uncovered a sophisticated criminal operation involving large scale money laundering and deception.

“The sum of money involved is simply staggering, but it’s very satisfying to know that over £250,000 of this will now be used as police funds – allowing us further investment in keeping the travelling public safe.”

He added “Money laundering is not a victimless crime, the cash involved often originates from criminal activity such as drug dealing and exploitation.

“We will always take these reports seriously and work tirelessly to bring offenders before the courts.”

SWNS

Xural.com

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