UK money laundering: Air steward claimed £150,000 was for Harrods handbags, watches
26 Nov 2018

An air steward has been jailed for 12 months after being caught trying to smuggle £150,000 criminal cash out of the UK.

The 37-year-old man was due to fly on a Malaysia Airlines flight from London to Kuala Lumpur when he was stopped.

After scanning his bags, security staff at Heathrow Terminal 4 called in Border Force officers, who found £100,000 cash in a roller bag and another £50,000 in his black suit carrier.

Swabs taken from the cash tested positive for cocaine. He was arrested for money laundering.

In interviews with National Crime Agency investigators, the man claimed he had brought the money in on a flight the day before, and had intended to spend it on handbags and watches from Harrods.

However, he said he hadn’t had a chance to go shopping because he was too tired.

He refused to explain why he had two receipts from Primark in his wallet dated that same day, as well as a customer registration card for a Malaysian money exchange bureau.

On Thursday 22 November he appeared before Isleworth Crown Court and pleaded guilty to money laundering. He was sentenced to 12 months in prison.

Ian Truby, operations manager for the NCA at Heathrow, said: “The story [he] told us was so far fetched as to be almost laughable.

“He was a cabin crew member for 15 years and would well have known the regulations about carrying cash into and out of the country. It seems that he decided to use that employment as a cover for his criminality.”

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