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16 Individuals Sentenced Over 70 Years for Money Laundering and People Smuggling in West London Organized Crime Case

Human Rights16 Individuals Sentenced Over 70 Years for Money Laundering and People Smuggling in West London Organized Crime Case

Sixteen individuals associated with an organized crime group based in West London have been sentenced to more than 70 years in jail for their involvement in international money laundering and people smuggling. The National Crime Agency (NCA) conducted an investigation that revealed the network’s involvement in smuggling approximately £70 million in cash out of the UK between 2017 and 2019.

NCA officers believe that the laundered money was derived from the sale of class A drugs and organized immigration crime. While approximately £1.5 million was seized from couriers leaving the UK, the NCA found evidence suggesting that the group had successfully transported a much larger sum.

As part of the investigation, NCA officers uncovered a plot by members of the organized crime group to smuggle 17 migrants, including five children and a pregnant woman, into the UK inside a van loaded with tires in 2019. Dutch police, collaborating with the NCA, intercepted the van before it could reach a ferry at the Hook of Holland.

In November 2019, following weeks of surveillance, communication analysis, and flight data examination, officers made a series of early morning arrests across West London, including the apprehension of gang ringleader Charan Singh, 44, from Hounslow. Singh was found to have paid for flights to Dubai for other network members so they could transport cash. A ledger kept by Singh documented the amounts transported and the dates, revealing that he and his couriers made at least 58 trips to Dubai in 2017 alone.

After a complex investigation, 18 individuals were charged and prosecuted in two trials at Croydon Crown Court. In the first trial, six individuals, including Charan Singh, were found guilty of money laundering offenses, with two of them convicted of facilitating illegal immigration. In the second trial, six defendants changed their pleas to guilty in relation to money laundering offenses.

At the conclusion of a three-day sentencing hearing at Croydon Crown Court, Charan Singh was sentenced to 12-and-a-half years in prison, Valjeet Singh received an 11-year sentence, and Swander Singh Dhal was sentenced to 10 years for money laundering and an additional five years for people smuggling. The remaining 15 members of the crime group received sentences ranging from nine years to 11 months.

Proceedings under the Proceeds of Crime Act will begin to identify and seize assets acquired through the group’s criminal activities.

Tackling organized immigration crime remains a top priority for the NCA, which is actively investigating over 90 networks or individuals involved in top-tier organized immigration crime or human trafficking.

By FCCT Editorial Team

Disclaimer: The views expressed in this article are independent views solely of the author(s) expressed in their private capacity.

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