Jailed: Driver caught with £400k in cash hidden in his van in Poplar
PUBLISHED: 07:00 03 January 2019
A man who denied any knowledge of the hundreds and thousands of pounds found hidden in his van has been jailed for money laundering.
Gintaras Kondrotas initially told officers he knew nothing about the £439,140 tucked away under boxes of parcels and washing powder when his van was stopped in Poplar.
He also refused to divulge the PIN numbers for five mobile phones that was also seized at the same time.
However last month at Woolwich Crown Court he admitted money laundering and was jailed for four years.
The court heard he was snared as part of a joint operation by the National Crime Agency and Met Police’s Organised Crime Partnership (OCP).
Kondrotas was seen meeting a man who gave him a large shopping bag and kept a lookout while the bag was put in the back of his van.
The pair shock hands before Kondrotas drove the van away.
When officers stopped the van they found 19 cash packages in the shopping bag, another four in a rucksack and the phones.
Matt McMillan from OCP said: “Kondrotas initially denied any knowledge of the cash found in his van and would not provide PIN numbers for the five mobile phones in his possession.
“We know that every organised crime group relies on cash flow.
“Disrupting their activity and intercepting the money that is so important to their business stops them from investing in other criminal activity and paying their own people. It also damages the trust and credibility with other criminal groups, making it harder for them to do business together in future.
“We will continue to do all we can to stop organised crime groups and will use all the tools available to us.”