Jailed: Men who laundered £25m from cash and carry warehouses

Mandeep Singh Dhillon and Santokh Singh Bharj

L-R: Mandeep Singh Dhillon, of Grove Park Road, Mottingham and Santokh Singh Bharj of Billet Road, Little Heath. - Credit: MPS

A company director and cash and carry worker have been jailed for more than 11 years for laundering £25 million.

Avtar Singh Mann of High Silver, Loughton; Mandeep Singh Dhillon, of Grove Park Road, Mottingham; and Santokh Singh Bharj of Billet Road, Little Heath in Redbridge, were found guilty on July 1 of conspiracy to convert criminal property after a Southwark Crown Court trial.

Mann, 50, ran Glenn & Co (Essex) Ltd in River Road, Barking and employed 54-year-old Bharj. Dhillon, 40, ran Gardner Shaw C&C Ltd in nearby Thames Road.

The court heard Mann and Bharj moved millions through the bank accounts of a number of shell companies set up to launder cash, which is believed by HMRC to have come from the sale of booze where alcohol duty was not paid.

Julie Marsh, assistant director of HMRC's fraud investigation service, said it "uncovered a complex and sophisticated money laundering scheme, where cash was being moved through a number of shell companies". 


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She added: "Money laundering is not a victimless crime. Laundered cash funds other serious crimes that bring harm and misery to communities."

The money laundering was exposed when investigators discovered the shell companies - claiming to be legitimate alcohol sales businesses - had no facilities to store the drinks and were fronted by people with no experience of the trade.

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Internet protocol addresses used to control the shell companies' bank accounts were traced to Mann’s warehouse as well as the homes of Bharj and Dhillon.

cash

Cash found in Dhillon's home in Mottingham. - Credit: MPS

Evidence of the scam, including account books and bank slips, was found at Bharj’s home and at Gardner Shaw C&C, where £300,000 was discovered.

More than £198,000 and €26,000 were found at Mann’s home and £329,000 at Dhillon’s.

Bharj was sentenced to seven years, three months and banned from being a company director for 10 years.

Dhillon was sentenced to four years and banned from being a director for three years. Both were sentenced at Southwark Crown Court on October 6.

cash

A total of £329,000 was found at Dhillon's home. - Credit: MPS

Mann is due to be sentenced at the same court on November 1.

Two men - Thinh Van Dinh, 38, of Newport Court in Chinatown and Inderjit Paul, 45, of Blakeley Walk, Dudley - were directors of two of the shell companies.

Van Dinh pleaded guilty to entering a money laundering arrangement.

He received a two-year jail sentence suspended for two years on March 1, 2019.

Paul pleaded guilty to conspiracy to convert criminal property and received a 14-month jail sentence, suspended for 18 months, on July 6, 2020.

They were sentenced at Southwark Crown Court.

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