Sixteen people, five of whom lived in Southall, Northolt and Hanwell, have been convicted following a major National Crime Agency (NCA) investigation into a West London-based organised crime group involved in international money laundering and people smuggling.
Members of the network smuggled in excess of £42 million in cash out of the UK, making hundreds of trips to Dubai, UAE, between 2017 and 2019.
NCA investigators believe the money was profit from the sale of class A drugs and organised immigration crime.
Around £1.5 million was seized from couriers leaving the UK but flight analysis, evidence from cash declarations in Dubai, and other material seized by the NCA showed the group had succeeded in transporting far more.
As part of the investigation NCA officers also uncovered a plot involving members of the OCG to smuggle 17 migrants, including five children and a pregnant woman, into the UK in the back of a van carrying tyres in 2019.
The van was intercepted by Dutch police, who were working with the NCA, before it could reach a ferry at the Hook of Holland.
In November 2019, following weeks of surveillance, communications and flight data analysis, officers moved in to make arrests. Gang ringleader Charan Singh, 44, from Hounslow, was among those detained in a series of early morning raids across west London.
Further arrests followed and those charged were prosecuted in two trials at Croydon Crown Court, starting in January 2023.
Those who appeared in court were:
Jasbir Singh Dhal, 32, from Norwood Rd, Southall, Middlesex found guilty of conspiring to remove criminal property – remanded in custody until sentencing
Mircea Denes, 45, previously of Yeading Lane, Northolt found gulity of conspiring to facilitate a breach of immigration law in his absence having absconded.
Sundar Vengadassalm, 48, from Hadfield Close, Southall, Middlesex, found gulity of removing criminal property, and found NOT GUILTY of x5 separate counts of removing criminal property – bailed pending sentencing
Jackdar Kapoor, 40, from Hillary Road, Southall pleaded gulity to x18 counts of removing criminal property – bailed pending sentencing
Jasbeer Singh Malhotra, 37, from High Trees Court, Manor Court Rd, Hanwell, pleaded guility to x3 counts of removing criminal property – bailed pending sentencing
All 16 convicted are due to be sentenced in a hearing starting on 11 September 2023.
NCA senior investigating officer Chris Hill said: “This has been a long and complex investigation into an organised crime group involved in money laundering on a commercial scale and organised immigration crime. Over a two-year period, working together with partners in the UK and abroad, NCA investigators were able to uncover the evidence to secure these convictions.”
Mr Hill added: “This case demonstrates the continued commitment by the NCA to protect the public and target the criminal networks involved in both people smuggling and money laundering. We will continue to use the full range of tactics at our disposal to disrupt and dismantle them.”