An Indian-origin couple stashed thousands of pounds in their house which crime prevention officials believed to be proceeds of crime.
The discovery was made by Britain`s crime prevention officials and Scotland Yard who seized over 300,000 pounds in cash. Metropolitan Police Organised Crime Partnership investigators applied for a forfeiture order – a civil process in the UK meant to recover illicit cash, as they suspected the cash was from illegal activities.
After searching the house owned by husband and wife Sailesh and Harkit Singara in Edgware in north-west London, officers discovered an amount of 200,000 pounds. Almost half of the amount was stowed on a bed while the rest was stashed in a suitcase on the floor.
Head of Threat Response at the National Crime Agency (NCA), Rachael Herbert said: “Some Money Service Businesses (MSBs) continue to pose a risk to the UK by facilitating the movement of illicit cash. The NECC and its partners have developed an increased understanding of this threat, which is enabling more effective action against suspicious MSBs while supporting legitimate businesses.”
In an attempt to stop the forfeiture, the couple and a business associate, who runs two money service companies, made an appeal claiming that the cash was intended for legitimate business accounts, but the court dismissed their claim.
Detective chief inspector Tony O’Sullivan said: “While the three individuals are not accused, and have not been convicted of any crime in relation to these events, the £300,000 recovered will now go into the public purse where it can positively impact on communities.”
“Money is at the heart of organised crime, and it is vital that those in possession of huge sums of cash can account for it legitimately”, he added.