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Ashford man arrested in nationwide money laundering investigation

By Charlie Harman

An Ashford man is among 13 people arrested in connection with a money laundering scheme worth tens of millions.

On June 26, 150 customs officers carried out 28 search warrants across the country leading to the seizure of £1.5 million in cash.

HMRC also seized four high-value cars - worth around £400,000 - and enforced nine bank account freezes worth £520,000.

The money laundering scheme targetted by HMRC is estimated to have been worth tens of millions of pounds (13641549)
The money laundering scheme targetted by HMRC is estimated to have been worth tens of millions of pounds (13641549)

Eleven men and two women were arrested in connection with the racket, with suspects cuffed in London, Bedfordshire, Wiltshire, Kent, County Armagh and Deeside.

Simon York, Fraud Investigation Director, HMRC, said: “Money laundering and the organised crime it supports is hugely harmful to businesses, citizens and society as a whole.

"That is why it is a priority for HMRC and this large scale operation demonstrates we will not hesitate to investigate those suspected of being involved.

Almost 30 search warrants were issued for the June 26 raids (13641553)
Almost 30 search warrants were issued for the June 26 raids (13641553)

"We are determined to cut off the funds that are the lifeblood of serious crime in the UK and in the last year alone, HMRC has recovered more than £192 million of illicit proceeds using its civil and criminal proceeds of crime powers.

"Tax crime and money laundering deprive public services of vital funds and I would urge anyone with information on this type of fraud to report it to HMRC online, or call our fraud hotline on 0800 788 887.”

The 35-year-old Ashford man - along with all those arrested - was released following questioning, pending further enquiries.

To get the latest updates in ongoing cases, police appeals and criminals put behind bars, click here.

Read more: All the latest news from Ashford

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