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Diamond dealers thought to have laundered more than £50m

A couple who ran a diamond trading business have been convicted of money laundering at the Old Bailey after a joint investigation by the NCA and City of London Police.

Danny Koort and Jeanette Rosen are thought to have laundered up to £53m for organised crime groups in under two years, based on diary entries showing their deals from January 2013 to November 2014.

Koort was jailed for 11 years and Rosen 10 years.

Dutch national Koort, 52, and Rosen, 48, both of East Finchley, London, used code names – such as Fiat, Honda, Champagne, Cristal and Caviar – in the diaries to refer to customers.

Notes made on envelopes inside the diaries showed at least £20m was laundered between April and November 2014.

The couple ran a legitimate diamond dealing business but used it as cover to clean the money.

Rosen, acting on Koort’s behalf, took part in a series of street exchanges with couriers to transfer the massive sums of cash.

Accomplice Andrew Russell, 54, of Ongar in Essex, was also convicted of money laundering and jailed for four years.

NCA officers arrested Russell on 25 July 2014 with £198,000 in cash in a holdall in his car.

He had been under surveillance at a meeting at an Essex hotel where he collected a large bag.

He then bought a holdall from Argos and filled it with the cash.

Later that day officers photographed Russell and Rosen meeting in a street but Russell did not transfer the money to her.

City of London Police arrested Rosen on 28 November 2014 when she was carrying just short of £170,000 in a bag in a central London street.

Police searched her office where they found 235,215 Euros and £17,165 in cash.

The officers also searched her black Mercedes and discovered 10 pay-as-you-go mobile phones – nine with code names written on.

A search of Rosen and Koort’s home discovered a piece of paper headed “my big friend” with calculations for sums in sterling and Euros ending with an outstanding amount of £60,100.

Investigators also found a bag containing counterfeit notes.

NCA senior investigating officer Tony Luhman said: “Koort and Rosen had enormous sums of money going through their books and were clearly doing a lot of business with many organised crime groups.

“Their conviction removes a money laundering facility on which numerous other criminals have depended, and now makes life harder for crooks looking to clean their dirty cash.”

DC Mark Edwards, of City of London Police, said: “Money launderers are integral to organised crime.

“Stopping operations like Koort and Rosen’s, where funds were laundered on an industrial scale, inflicts massive damage on serious organised gangs.

“We’d like to thank the NCA for their professional and dedicated support with this case”.

 

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