London, September 16
A group of 16 people, including many of Indian origin, have been given jail sentences totalling more than 70 years for their involvement in international money-laundering and people smuggling in the UK.
An investigation by the National Crime Agency (NCA) identified that members of a West London-based organised crime group, led by 'ringleader' Charan Singh, were likely to have smuggled around 70 million pounds in cash out of the UK, making hundreds of trips to Dubai between 2017 and 2019.
NCA officers believe the money was profit from the sale of Class A drugs and organised immigration crime.
Following a three-day sentencing hearing at Croydon Crown Court, which concluded on Friday, 44-year-old Charan Singh from Hounslow was handed a 12-and-a-half-year jail term.
His right-hand man Valjeet Singh got 11 years, while trusted lieutenant Swander Singh Dhal got 10 years for money-laundering and an additional five years for people smuggling.
The other members of the crime group -- Amarjeet Alabadis, Jaginder Kapoor, Jackdar Kapoor, Manmon Singh Kapur, Pinky Kapur and Jasbeer Singh Malhotra -- were given sentences ranging between nine years and 11 months.
The individuals arrested and charged as part of the NCA operation were prosecuted in two trials at Croydon Crown Court in south London starting in January this year.
“Charan Singh and his network thought they were untouchable, moving tens of millions of pounds of criminal cash out of the UK. The NCA mounted a long and complex investigation into their activities, and over a two-year period we were able to evidence their involvement in money- laundering and organised immigration crime," NCA senior investigating officer Chris Hill said.
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