Crooked courier caught with dirty cash jailed for two years
PUBLISHED: 14:38 22 November 2018 | UPDATED: 14:38 22 November 2018
A criminal cash courier who flew into Stansted Airport has been jailed for two years after he was caught with £776,000 stuffed in carrier bags.
Gabriel Verdes, 30, from Moldova, flew into Stansted Airport on July 21 but was caught by officers from HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) just eight days later at a North Stevenage hotel with a stash of used notes hidden in his hotel room.
Verdes was seen leaving the hotel before returning with carrier bags full of cash. During a search of Verdes’ room, HMRC officers found £774,045 stuffed in carrier bags and hidden in a suitcase in the wardrobe.
After his arrest Verdes was found to be carrying a further £2,695 in his rucksack. When questioned by investigators, he refused to comment or explain where any of the money had come from.
Paul Maybury, assistant director, Fraud Investigation Service, HMRC, said: “Verdes was caught red handed with bags full of cash. The money found in his room is the equivalent to the salaries of 33 new NHS nurses for an entire year.
“I urge anybody who knows of anyone handling large quantities of unexplained cash, or committing any type of tax fraud, to report it to HMRC online or call our Fraud Hotline on 0800 788 887.”
Verdes was found guilty of money laundering at Cambridge Crown Court on November 16 and was jailed for two years.
Today (November 22), the money was forfeited to the Crown following a hearing at Manchester and Salford Magistrates Court.