LONDON – An Indo-British man has been sentenced for a total of 11 years after being found guilty of laundering 3.5 million pounds of criminal funds.
Harkishan Talwar from Southall in west London received two sentences of eight and three years to run concurrently by the Old Bailey court in London on Friday for laundering criminal funds over a four-month period.
The 44-year-old’s accomplice, Muhammad Khan, was tried in his absence after breaching his bail conditions in July 2013 by fleeing the country.
He was found guilty of laundering 1.4 million pounds and sentenced to one year in prison.
“Khan and Talwar were making a lot of money by laundering millions of pounds on behalf of criminals and in doing so played a vital and significant role in enabling serious criminal behaviour,” said City of London Police’s investigating officer, detective constable James Nellist.
“Using his position as the director of a Money Service Bureau to help transfer criminal money around the globe in an attempt to make the money look legitimate and hide it from law enforcement agencies, Talwar is as culpable as the criminals he helped,” he said.
On 21 January 2013 both men were arrested on suspicion of money laundering after officers witnessed an exchange of 50,000 pounds cash between both men in Talwar’s Range Rover on Hambrough Road in Southall.
A note found on Khan identified that he had taken part in a number of earlier cash handovers totalling 1.4 million pound, for which he was paid 5,500 pounds.
When police searched Talwar’s Money Service Bureau called Fortune Exchange, they seized 250,000 pound cash and notebooks belonging to him showing the illegal movements of a further 3. 5 million pounds.
Both men were charged with money laundering on 22 January 2013.
In July 2013, following an investigation assisted by the UK’s HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC), Talwar was also charged with further money laundering offences.
“This was a complex operation and we are pleased to have supported our colleagues from the City of London Police,” Chris Gill, assistant director of criminal investigation for HMRC, said.
Talwar claimed to run a legitimate Money Service Bureau, but this was merely a front for laundering criminal cash.
“Money laundering is a serious crime and we will take action to bring those responsible before the courts so justice can be served,” Gill said.