Money launder gang boss had £1/3m cash stashed in his Isle of Dogs flat
PUBLISHED: 16:08 26 April 2016 | UPDATED: 16:08 26 April 2016
A gang involved in a large-scale money-laundering where they siphoned millions of pounds into Chinese bank accounts for crime networks have been given jail sentences.
The ringleader had £350,000 stashed away at his luxury tower home on the Isle of Dogs when police raided.
Quaojun Lou, 38, who ran the illicit operation from his apartment at east London’s new Peninsula Court in East Ferry Road, overlooking Canary Wharf, admitted seven charges of money laundering and has gone down for three-and-a-half years.
Lou changed his plea to guilty earlier this month, two days into his trial at Snaresbrooke crown court.
Police had seized £351,064 in cash last summer in a raid at his home.
It followed a long, covert operation by Scotland Yard detectives who had spotted him meeting his “couriers” in car-parks close to Canary Wharf and at Lewisham, where large quantities of cash were passed to him in sports bags.
Evidence retrieved from Lou’s mobile phone and messaging app showed he was involved in laundering millions of pounds in cash from unknown criminal proceeds and using Bank of China accounts to launder the money for others.
Three of his so-called “couriers”, including a man of 69, were identified by police intelligence and were later arrested as part of the operation.
The gang was tracked down by the Criminal Finance team of Scotland Yard’s Specialist, Organised and Economic Crime Command.
“Criminals will go to great lengths to launder the proceeds of their crimes,” Det Con Chris Woods said after the sentences were handed out.
“But we’ll go to greater lengths to pursue and disrupt their networks.”
The couriers who smuggled money to Lou admitted a string of money-laundering offences when they appeared in the dock at Snaresbrook.
Barry Nixon, 55, admitted two charges and was jailed for 16 months after police seized more than £300,000 in cash when they raided his home at Brentwood in Essex.
Gordon Bahula, 48, from Liverpool, pleaded guilty to two charges and was given an eight-month term, suspended for 18 months.
The oldest, Raymond Osborne, 69, from Mottingham, admitted one charge and received a 20-week sentence, suspended for a year.