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Brazen money launderer caught with £250,000 under his bed

Brazen money launderer caught with £250,000 under his bed
Lin Guo, 32, was stopped by officers in November 2019 carrying a black rucksack with £20,000 cash wrapped in a Chinese newspaper inside

A brazen money launderer had a quarter of a million pounds stuffed under his bed when police searched his home.

Lin Guo, 32, was stopped by officers at Canning Town Station in November 2019 carrying a black rucksack with £20,000 cash wrapped in a Chinese newspaper inside.

He also had £1,200 in Scottish banknotes stuffed into his pocket.

Guo said a set of keys that officers had found belonged to a friend and that he had been given them while walking to the station, but they actually opened the doors of his home address nearby.

When police searched that address they found £252,000 in a drawer under the bed in a spare room, hidden underneath some reusable shopping bags.

There was £6,300 more in cash in a bedside table, along with two cash-counting machines and a device used to check for fake notes.

Several mobile phones were found and with the help of a Chinese interpreter, officers discovered they were being used in Chinese Underground Banking.

Because the Chinese Government does not allow its citizens to exchange more than $50,000 (£41,000) worth of Chinese Yuan into foreign currencies each year, many Chinese nationals use this system of underground banking to transfer money out of the country.

Someone wanting to transfer money to the UK will send money electronically to an account in China controlled by someone from an organised crime group.

That group will then raise the equivalent value in cash from criminal sources and deposit that into a UK bank account controlled by the sender.

Crime groups often recruit Chinese students studying in the UK to use as mule accounts, so that large amounts of cash can be split up and distributed in smaller, less conspicuous batches.

Guo was using his home as a cash house, where money was stored and counted before being deposited.

Messages found on his phone dated throughout 2019 talked about currency exchange, details of bank transfers in China and screenshots showing money transfers as well as messages from individuals asking for exchange rates.

郭, of Bywell Place, Canning Town admitted two counts of money laundering and was sentenced to two years prison, suspended for 18 月, at Inner London Crown Court.

He must also complete 200 hours unpaid work within 12 月.

His phones and cash-counting machines will be destroyed and all cash found in his address has been seized by police.

Detective Inspector Mark Forster, from the City of London Police, 前記: “Guo portrayed himself as an innocent person when he was stopped by officers, but the reality was, he was part of an organised crime group (OCG) involved in money laundering.

“He was responsible for holding cash and distributing it to others lower down in the OCG to deposit it into the UK banking system.

“This causes significant harm to the UK economy and those involved in this type of crime need to be held to account for their actions.”