Revealed: The dirty money dozen

STASHING bundles of cash in fireplaces, buying luxury holiday homes and losing thousands of pounds at the roulette wheel are some of the methods Yorkshire crooks will use to hide the proceeds of their crimes.

Detectives and financial investigators at the region's largest police force say criminals will go to extraordinary lengths to conceal the dirty money they make.

Some offenders investigated by West Yorkshire Police's economic crime unit have resorted to hiding cash around the house, in washing machines, freezers and behind kitchen cupboards.

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But others have tried more elaborate schemes, involving foreign bank accounts and stock market investments. It can take months or even years for police to get the money back.

Det Chief Insp Steve Taylor, who heads the economic crime unit, said: "We still come across tens of thousands of pounds of cash at a time, but it would be unusual nowadays to look someone up and find that they own 10 homes in their own names with fast cars parked outside.

"To conceal what they are doing, criminals will even employ people full-time to go into banks across the country and make deposits for them."

Det Chief Insp Taylor added that financial worries could force seemingly honest, law-abiding people into the murky world of money laundering.

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"Criminals approach companies that are failing and offer the people behind those failing businesses a cash injection," he said.

"These business owners are desperate people who often do not understand where the money has come from, but they go along with it because it helps keep their companies afloat.

"Criminals will also give money to family members and friends, and people with foreign bank accounts, as well as spending the money on holiday homes, in gambling rings or on stocks and shares.

"Some crime group members will think nothing of losing 20,000 in a casino on a single night and a few can lose up to 150,000 a week, but they are still making a profit overall.

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"They can claim that their winnings from gambling are clean, too, even though the money they used to place the bets was gained illegally."

The many faces of economic crime are revealed in the rogues' gallery published by West Yorkshire Police, which shows a dozen criminals.

Not all of them tried to conceal their wrongdoing in the ways Det Chief Insp Taylor has described, but all have been landed with hefty repayment bills after being targeted by financial investigators.

Sharon Land, 52, of Thornfield Place, Bradford, and Jun Liao Inns, 34, of Ladybeck Close, Leeds, were ordered to repay 215,593 and 23,740 respectively after being convicted of brothel-keeping.

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Drug dealers Wazir Hussain, 30, of South View Terrace, Dewsbury, Gary Folkard, 39, of Averingcliffe Road, Bradford, Kevin Devonport, 38, of Summerfield Drive, Knottingley, and Qamar Zaman, 27, of St Leonards Road, Bradford, were ordered to repay amounts totalling 164,525.

Lisa Cullen, 36, of St Paul's Road, Mirfield, was told to repay 68,500 after being caught stealing from customers when she worked for a Bradford mail-order firm.

Bhupinder Sahota, 35, of Stephen Crescent, Bradford, was made to repay 76,000 for stealing from an elderly woman while Waseem Malik, 41, of Chadwick Street, Rochdale, Lancashire, was given a 123,380 bill for trading in counterfeit goods.

Stuart Baldwin, 43, was ordered to repay 214,718 for selling pornographic DVDs without a licence.

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Adam Littlewood, 31, of Old Bank Road, Dewsbury, was ordered to repay more than 18,000 after the economic crime unit discovered that 4.5m had passed through his bank account in only five months.

CROOKS' cash helps children

Money confiscated from criminals has been used to help a range of community projects across West Yorkshire, including children's activity groups and a wheelchair rugby club.

Young Minds, an organisation which runs youth clubs at the Woodsley Centre in Leeds, received a 1,570 grant last year.

Other beneficiaries in 2009 included Moorside Minors in Dewsbury, which provides activities for children aged between four and 15, and Kick, a karate club for young people in the Seacroft area of Leeds.

Halifax Wheelchair Tag Rugby League Club also received a cash grant.