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Man jailed in a £104million money laundering scam of transporting illegal cash to Dubai

|News, Fraud and economic crime

A money launderer who arranged to transport £104million in illegally obtained cash to Dubai has been jailed today (28 July).

Abdulla Mohammad Ali Bin Beyat Alfalasi, 47, pleaded guilty to money laundering and has today been sentenced to , at nine years in prison at Isleworth Crown Court.

Alfalasi arranged a service designed to transport cash which was the proceeds of crime, out of the England and Wales. The method that was followed:-

  • Suitcases were each filled with around £500,000 in cash.
  • Alfalasi or a courier would fly business class to Dubai, which allowed increased baggage allowance and they would check in as late as possible, to avoid detection.
  • The cash would be declared on arrival, supported by a letter from a company owned by Alfalasi, saying the couriers were authorised to carry this amount. 

Cash was transported on at least 83 occasions, firstly by Alfalasi and then by ‘couriers’ he recruited. 

Building the case

Alfalasi set up a company, Omnivest, specifically to legitimise the funds. Letters on the company notepaper were used to legitimise the cash transportation.

When Alfalasi was arrested by officers from the National Crime Agency, three phones were recovered, containing numerous messages between him and others talking about the collection, consolidation and movement of the cash.

The phones also contained pictures of suitcases filled with cash, a read-out from a money counting machine and an itinerary for one courier’s journey, with Alfalasi checking in at every stage of the process to ensure the money was delivered safely to Dubai.

Credit cards were also recovered from Alfalasi’s home which had been used to buy the flight tickets.

John Werhun of the CPS said: “This is one of the largest money laundering cases the CPS has ever prosecuted.

“A colossal amount of dirty money, totalling £104million, was transported to Dubai under Alfalasi’s instructions. 

“The evidence against Alfalasi was overwhelming, with invoices, declaration documents and images of cash-filled suitcases, pointing to his culpability.

Arslan Khan, Unit Head, said: “Our specialist teams work hard to bring to justice those who seek to benefit from their ill-gotten gains and we have already commenced proceedings to recover the proceeds of crime in this case.”

NCA senior investigating officer Ian Truby said: “This money laundering network smuggled astronomical sums of money out of the UK, and is one of the largest we’ve ever investigated.

“Cash is the lifeblood of organised crime groups, which they re-invest into activities such as drug trafficking which fuels violence and insecurity around the world.

“Disrupting the supply of such illicit cash is a priority for the NCA and our partners.

“This investigation doesn’t stop here though, as we will continue to target cash couriers and hit crime groups where it hurts – in the pocket.”

Notes to editors

Abdulla Mohammad Ali Bin Beyat Alfalasi pleaded guilty to removing criminal property from England and Wales contrary to section 327(1) of the Proceeds of Crime Act on 27 June 2022 and has today (28 July) been sentenced to nine years and seven months in prison.

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