UPDATE: Mottingham man sentenced for role in multi-million pound money-laundering scheme
PUBLISHED: 10:41 26 April 2016 | UPDATED: 10:51 26 April 2016
The men siphoned the money into Chinese bank accounts
A Mottingham man has been given a suspended jail sentence for his involvement in a money-laundering scheme that siphoned millions of pounds into Chinese bank accounts.
Raymond Osborne, 69, of Duddington Close, pleaded guilty to one count of money laundering and received a 20-week jail term, suspended for a year.
He and three other men were sentenced at Snaresbrook Crown Court after admitting a string of offences.
Mr Osborne acted as a courier in the scheme for ringleader Qaojun Lou.
Mr Lou, 38, of Peninsula Court, East Ferry Road, was sentenced to a total of three-and-a-half years after pleading guilty to seven counts of money-laundering
He changed his plea on April 4, two days into his trial.
Police seized more than £351,000 in cash after searching his home on June 2 last year.
Mr Osborne and two other men had pleaded guilty at an earlier hearing.
Barry Nixon, 55, of Rollason Way, Brentwood, Essex, pleaded guilty to two counts of money-laundering and was jailed for 16 months.
Police seized £302,795 in cash after searching his address.
Gordon Bahula, 48, of Botanic Road, Liverpool, pleaded guilty to two counts of money-laundering and was sentenced to eight months’ imprisonment, suspended for 18 months.
On a number of occasions, police had witnessed Mr Lou meet the other defendants in car parks in Lewisham and Poplar, where large quantities of money were passed to him in sports bags.
Three of these couriers were identified as Mr Osborne, Mr Nixon and Mr Bahula.
Evidence retrieved from Mr Lou’s mobile phone and a messaging app on the device showed he was involved in laundering millions of pounds in cash from unknown criminal proceeds and using Bank of China accounts to launder the money for further unknown parties.
Detective constable Chris Woods, of the Met’s Specialist, Organised and Economic Crime Command’s Criminal Finance Team, said: “Criminals will go to great lengths to launder the proceeds of their crimes but we will go to greater lengths to pursue and disrupt their networks.”
Mr Lou and Mr Osborne were sentenced on April 11, while Mr Bahula and Mr Nixon were sentenced on April 25.