National Crime Agency
Drug traffickers convicted after laundering millions through sham companies
An extensive criminal organisation, which supplied class A drugs and laundered millions of pounds in illicit profits, has been dismantled following an investigation by the joint NCA and Metropolitan Police Organised Crime Partnership (OCP).
The organisation was led by Tilbury man Baljinder Kang, and his right hand man Sukhjinder Pooney, from Gravesend. They used encrypted smartphones as well as a succession of unregistered ‘burner’ phones to direct the group’s activity.
Members of the crime group trafficked millions of pounds-worth of illegal drugs across England. The proceeds were then deposited in cash into front company bank accounts, before being transferred to a destination account in Dubai.
During the course of the investigation, officers seized more than £1.4million in cash, with at least £1.8 million more known to have been laundered by the criminal network.
The OCP operation resulted in the seizure of over 37kgs of Class A drugs - including heroin and cocaine with a street level value of over £3.5m - a handgun with ammunition, and 50kgs of ketamine.
Numerous additional drug deals, including one representing “53¾” [kg] bought, were noted in ledgers found by officers searching Kang’s home address after he was first arrested in January 2018.
Despite having very little legitimate income, Kang lived a lavish lifestyle. He purchased luxury goods from designer stores including Gucci, Ralph Lauren and Harrods and owned watches worth £12,000 and £36,000. He also leased a Mercedes and an Audi A3, and travelled regularly to the United Arab Emirates.
At Kingston Crown Court yesterday (Tuesday 11 June), Pooney was found guilty of conspiracy to supply class A drugs having previously pleaded guilty to money laundering offences.
One of Pooney’s cash couriers, Kieran O’Kane, was also found guilty of money laundering, while Webster Kenton and Abid Rasul were convicted of conspiracy to supply class B drugs - Rasul in his absence having absconded while on bail.
Baljinder Kang pleaded guilty to all charges against him on 23 May 2019. Money launderers Amir Ali and Aminoor Ahmed did the same, on 23 and 24 May respectively.
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