29 May 2018
Four men have been jailed for trying to smuggle almost £1.5 million cash out of the UK hidden in sacks of chicken feed.
Polish nationals Mariusz Ancygier, 28, and Mariusz Maciag, 38, were stopped by Border Force officers at the Channel Tunnel terminal in Folkestone on 11 November 2015.
Their van was searched and inside the sacks of feed, which were allegedly destined for a zoo in Poland, officers found vacuum sealed packets of notes. The total cash recovered was £980,000. Both men were arrested on suspicion of possessing criminal property.
Eight days later a van destined for the same zoo was stopped at the Folkestone terminal. Again, it was loaded with animal feed.
This time £500,000 cash was found inside the sacks, which had been opened and glued back together.
The van’s occupants, Adam Grobelny, 32, and Marcin Nowaczyk, 29, were arrested.
The four denied the charges, NCA investigators were able to piece together their movements before the seizure, showing that they had stopped between collecting the feed in Essex and driving to the tunnel terminal to collect the cash.
They were also able to discover that Maciag had been in vehicles carrying large amounts of cash before, once in Germany, once in Wales and previously at the tunnel.
All four men were found guilty today following a two week trial at Canterbury Crown Court. Ancygier and Maciag were each sentenced to seven years in prison, while Grobelny and Nowaczyk received two years each.
National Crime Agency Dover branch operations manager Mark Harding said:
“Organised crime groups rely on money launderers like these men to allow them to benefit from their crime and re-invest their criminal profits.
“Not only have we taken a considerable sum of cash out of the hands of criminal networks, we have taken a group of money launderers out of that chain.
“This makes it more difficult for criminals trying to clean their dirty cash.”
Paul Morgan, Director of Border Force South East and Europe said:
“Border Force officers play a crucial role in preventing drugs, contraband or the proceeds of crime from crossing our border, and where our officers suspect that cash may be linked with criminal activity, we have the power to seize it.”
“We continue to work with our colleagues from the National Crime Agency to do all we can to bring those attempting to profit from illegal activity to justice.”