Massive money seizure made by City of London Police following South Wales arrest
A South Wales man has been arrested by the City of London Police in possession of bankers’ drafts worth £30 million in what is believed to be the biggest ever money seizure made by UK law enforcement.
The funds are suspected to have been generated from overseas organised crime, including Ponzi schemes and on the foreign exchange markets, and then laundered through the 58 year-old’s company bank account.
The man was arrested at his home near Bridgend on suspicion of money laundering and taken to a local police station for questioning.
The City of London Police investigation was launched in March 2016 after receiving intelligence that a UK bank account was suspected of being used for organised and international money laundering.
Enquiries focused on a business that was listed as being involved in test drilling and boring with an annual turnover of £250,000.
However, in November 2015 $19 million was transferred into the company account and converted into Euros via an intermediary foreign exchange company, with the majority then being sent on to Georgia.
In February 2016 a further 37 million euros was transferred into the same account, and on this occasion the suspect claimed the funds were for the purchase of a Sri Lankan tea company.
Detective Inspector Craig Mullish, from the City of London Police’s Money Laundering Unit, said:
“We believe this man’s business account was being used by a global network of organised crime operators to launder tens of millions of pounds of stolen funds through the UK and then out into bank accounts around the world.
“His arrest and the massive money seizure is further evidence of how banks and law enforcement are working very closely together to take criminal proceeds out of the UK economy.”
The City of London Police Fraud Squad takes on many of the UK’s most complex and significant fraud investigations. It includes units dedicated to combating money laundering and recovering the proceeds of crime.
The City of London Police is also home to Action Fraud (National Fraud Reporting Centre) and the National Fraud Intelligence Bureau, which together records and analyses thousands of reports of fraud each week. Further to this it hosts the Police Intellectual Property Crime Unit (PIPCU) and the Insurance Fraud Enforcement Department (IFED).