Britain’s crime prevention officials and Scotland Yard have recovered from an Indian-origin couple more than £300,000 (around 2.8 crore rupees) in cash suspected of being the proceeds of crime.
The National Crime Agency (NCA) said on Tuesday that searches of a house belonging to husband and wife Sailesh and Harkit Singara in Edgware in north-west London revealed a total of more than £200,000, around half of it neatly stacked on a bed. Another £100,000 was found in a suitcase on the floor. The total amount seized was £306,805.
Nearby, officers found a further £100,000 in a bag which was in the possession of Sailesh Mandalia, a business associate of Singara.
Believing the money to be the proceeds of crime, investigators applied for a forfeiture order, which is a civil process intended to recover illicit cash where there has been no proven criminal offence.
Mandalia and the couple, who own two money service companies, appealed against the forfeiture, asserting that the cash was intended for legitimate business accounts, and that poor accounting over several years was responsible for any confusion.
But on September 10, the Southwark Crown Court dismissed their appeal, instructing the three respondents to pay costs of a combined £4,350, the NCA said.
Detective chief inspector Tony O’Sullivan said: “While the three individuals are not accused, and have not been convicted of any crime in relation to these events, the £300,000 recovered will now go into the public purse where it can positively impact on communities.”
“Money is at the heart of organised crime, and it is vital that those in possession of huge sums of cash can account for it legitimately”, he added.
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