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Limehouse woman jailed after £9m money laundering racket exposed

PUBLISHED: 11:59 04 December 2012

A couple who ran a £9.2m money laundering racket for drugs barons from their bureau de change were jailed for a total of 11 years this week.

Limehouse woman Binita Karnavat, 31, along with her fiancé Manish Patel, used false passport details and didn’t keep records of the trades in an effort to keep the operation a secret.

The pair kept nearly £8.5m of illicit business off the books from April 2010 to 2011 at the BK Forex Money Exchange in Shaftesbury Avenue, central London.

Police rumbled them after watching two convicted drug dealers pick up a black holdall containing $70,000 from Karnavat in January 2011.

Karnavat, of Branch Road, was jailed for seven years after being found guilty of two counts of money laundering, despite claiming she had acted under duress from Patel, who was sentenced to four years in prison.

Passing the sentences, Judge John Price said: “‘You both were involved in money laundering on a very, very substantial scale.

“Money laundering is prevalent - it is vital for criminals to succeed in getting rid of their money, and that is why is has to be treated so seriously.”

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