Two jailed after police foil money laundering

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A JUDGE has jailed two men for money laundering after police seized £152,000 in drug money when they stopped a private hire car in West Yorkshire.

Leeds Crown Court heard yesterday the cash, which was heavily contaminated with heroin, was being transported from the Sheffield area to Mohammed Aleem’s Money Services bureau in Dickinson Road, Manchester.

Officers stopped the Toyota Avensis travelling towards Halifax after a bag containing the money was transferred into the vehicle in Bradford, said James Lake prosecuting.

Inquiries revealed the driver, Iftikhar Ahmad, had made previous similar journeys from Bradford allegedly booked to an address of a solicitor’s firm in Dickinson Road but in reality going to the money exchange bureau.

Aleem, 40 of Church Street, Farnworth, Bolton, was jailed for 30 months and Ahmad, 60, of Kingsway, Burnage, Manchester, for 15 months. Each was found guilty by a jury of facilitating acquisition of criminal property.

Niaz Ahmed, 50 of Birch Lane, Longsight, Manchester, who admitted the offence was given a nine-month prison sentence suspended for 12 months. He was a passenger in the hire car.

Judge James Spencer QC told them “Without any facility for laundering money those at the heart of this wicked trade would have enormous difficulty realising any gain for themselves.”