Jailed: Gang members from Beckton, Bromley by Bow and Canning Town who laundered £1.5m
- Credit: Archant
Members of an organised crime gang have been jailed for a total of 23 years after laundering £1.5million.
The gang – with members from Beckton, Bromley by Bow and Canning Town – was caught after Santander bank spotted a spike in cash transferred through accounts at three branches in April 2017.
Det Con Ray Eaglesmith, who led the investigation, said: “These individuals were caught trying to cheat the system while moving vast amounts of money out of the UK.
“We will continue to bring offenders to justice and hit them in the pocket.”
Eagle-eyed bank staff spotted Jie Zheng, of Harston Walk, Bromley by Bow, regularly transfer cash at the branches into foreign nationals’ accounts.
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That sparked a joint operation between the National Crime Agency (NCA), Joint Fraud Taskforce (JFT), the City of London’s money laundering investigation unit.
Santander identified a pattern of payments as gang members copied Zheng’s method. One, Qin Gao, formerly of Catford, was filmed carrying out £470,000 in transactions.
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In total 460 accounts were used to launder the dirty money before it was funnelled into business accounts and used to top up credit cards registered overseas.
Zheng’s address was the safe house where cars linked to organised crime gangs involved in drug trafficking were seen dropping off suitcases stuffed with cash.
Jinhui Wang, of Lewisham, masterminded the drop offs while Hai Bin Xue, of Jasper Road, Beckton, and Shiqiang Wang, of Varley Road, Canning Town, ferried cash between addresses.
In June police seized £962,349, counting machines, designer goods and mobiles in raids at the gang’s homes.
Seven members were sentenced at Southwark Crown Court on Wednesday after they all previously pleaded guilty to conspiracy to conceal, convert, disguise, transfer and remove criminal property.
Hai Bin Xue, 30, and Shiqiang Wang, 29, were sentenced to three years 10 months.
Xiao Jie Wu, 26, from Lewisham, was sentenced to two years suspended and 250 hours community service.
Jinhui Wang, 40, also from Lewisham, was sentenced to three years 10 months.
Qin Gao, 32, was sentenced to two years 11 months.
Jie Zheng, 27, received four years six months. Jiaming Chen, 27, of Harston Walk, was sentenced to three years 10 months. He was also sentenced to 10 months for possessing forged passports.
An eighth gang member will be sentenced in April.