"These men each had around four times the average UK wage in cash in a bag."
Mukhtar Hussain, aged 51, of Smethwick, and Abdul Hassan, aged 29, of Manchester, avoided a jail sentence on Friday, October 12, 2018, after being found with almost £200,000 in two shopping bags.
They were investigated in 2015 by HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) officers who stopped and caught them carrying a total of £198,890 stuffed inside two separate bags.
Suspicions about their money laundering arose when Hussain was spotted by HMRC investigators receiving a holdall type bag in October 2015.
Investigators stopped him a short while later whilst driving his Porsche Cayenne in the Fallowfield area of Manchester.
The holdall was in the back seat of the car and when investigators looked inside the bag, they found £100,040 in cash stuffed in a shopping bag.
Hussain was immediately arrested by officers.
A few days after Hussain’s arrest, his accomplice Hassan was also seen receiving a similar looking holdall bag in another area of Manchester.
HMRC officers searched Hassan’s flat and recovered the bag. Inside, they found £98,850 in cash which led to Hassan’s arrest.
When questioned about the large sum of money, Hussain claimed that the money was related to his business as a rag trader.
However, Hassan refused to explain where the amount of money found in his flat came from.
The only thing he said to HMRC investigators was that his cousin in Pakistan asked him to collect some cash.
Both did not provide evidence to officers as to who gave them the bags.
HMRC investigators later searched Hussain’s home in Smethwick and found a further £13,980 in cash hidden in his attic.
Tony Capon, Assistant Director of the Fraud Investigation Service, HMRC, said:
“These men each had around four times the average UK wage in cash in a bag.”
“Neither could properly explain where all this cash came from.”
Mukhtar Hussain and Abdul Hassan pleaded guilty to money laundering offences.
They each received 21-month sentences which were suspended for two years.
They were also ordered to complete 150 hours of unpaid community service.
HMRC investigators seized the cash, which was handed over to the court.
After their sentencing hearing, Mr. Capon spoke of how money laundering supports organised crime.
“Money laundering supports organised crime by helping serious criminals to try and hide their illegal cash,”
“We will use all available resources to stop criminals from profiting from their illegal actions.”
Mr. Capon appealed to anyone who has information on other money laundering crimes to come forward.
He said: “Anyone with information about this type of crime can report it to HMRC online, or call our Fraud Hotline on 0800 788 887.”