Ilford man caught trying to smuggle four suitcases filled with £1.5m

The 35-year-old checked in four bags full of £10 and £20 notes. Picture: NCA

The 35-year-old checked in four bags full of £10 and £20 notes. Picture: NCA - Credit: Archant

A man from Ilford has been jailed after he tried to board a flight to Dubai with suitcases filled with almost £1.5million in cash.

Mohamed Imran Khan Sathar Khan, 35, was arrested by Border Force officers on August, 29 at Stansted Airport after he checked in with four bags crammed with £10 and £20 notes.

Each case weighed around 20kgs.

Sather Khan claimed to be travelling to visit friends and denied knowledge of the money, but after opening the cases staff found £1,494,920.

He was interviewed by officers from the National Crime Agency (NCA), who were able to establish that he had made several trips on the same route before.

He was charged with two money laundering offences and pleaded guilty to both counts.

The money was forfeited under the Proceeds of Crime legislation which means it will be given back to the “public purse”.

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Sather Khan was sentenced at Chelmsford Crown Court to three years and nine months in prison on Friday, September 28.

Matt Rivers from the NCA said organised criminals rely on the services of money launderers like Sather Khan to access the proceeds of their crime.

“This was a significant seizure which means a criminal infrastructure has taken a serious hit,” he said.

“Tackling the flow of illicit funds is a priority for the NCA and its partners. Our investigation continues in relation to the wider criminal network behind this seizure.”

Taylor Wilson, Border Force assistant director at Stansted Airport, said: “By making this detection, Border Force officers have taken a substantial quantity of criminal cash out of circulation and ensured it will be returned to the public purse,” he said.

“Depriving criminals of their wealth disrupts organised crime and we will continue to work with law enforcement partners like the NCA to both bring offenders to justice and to hit them in the pocket.”

The NCA will protect members of the public making a protected disclosure under whistleblowing legislation.

You can contact the NCA about matters relating to corrupt individuals or companies offering or receiving bribes , individuals or groups involved in terrorism, and individual or groups laundering money or financing terrorism.

Call 03704967622 24 hours a day, but in an emergency dial 999.