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Gang used bogus companies to launder £35m

Sixteen members of a Midlands-based money laundering network have been jailed for over 73 years for their roles in laundering more than £35 million through UK banks and money service businesses.

The National Crime Agency is releasing details of the three-year investigation as the final four members of the network were sentenced at Birmingham Crown Court recently.

Head of the network, Harpal Singh Gill, aged 67, from Smethwick, who was previously a textile trader, initiated and orchestrated the entire operation. Crime groups across the country used the services on offer to launder their drugs money.

Gill set up a number of bogus clothing and textilecompanies to provide a mechanism for the apparent purchase of goods from companies, but no actual purchases or trade ever occurred. False invoices helped his network launder over £35 million between May 2007 and May 2013.

He recruited his son, Manjit Gill, aged 40, from Edgbaston, a singer who is also known as Foji Gill, to take on the role of director for a number of companies. He also had responsibility for receiving significant amounts of money.

Gill and his son were sentenced for money laundering offences in March this year at Birmingham Crown Court, receiving 11 years and five years respectively.

His Honour Judge Bond stated at the time that Gill “took a leading role in a sophisticated money laundering arrangement” that required “significant planning” over a sustained period of time. He added that he was sure his son “knew what he was doing was criminal” and that £8,000 found concealed in his bedframe had to have been part of a reward for his criminal activity.

The last four members of the network sentenced recently were James Coulson, aged 28, from Liverpool (27 months); Santokh Singh Sangha, aged 62, from Leicester (3 years); Andrew Wilson, aged 60, from Bedworth (nine months suspended); and Sarup Singh Parmar, aged 65, from Sparkhill (29 months).

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