A man has been sentenced to 20 months in prison for money laundering offences after being caught trying to smuggle almost £500,000 out of the UK within a truckload of air fresheners.
Polish National Krzysztof Hubert Turadek, 34 appeared at Canterbury Crown Court yesterday (03 November) where he received the almost two year sentence following an investigation by the National Crime Agency.
He initially pled guilty on 27 October at Canterbury Crown Court.
Turadek was originally stopped by Border Force on September 19 2020 as he drove an HGV tractor unit with an accompanying trailer through outbound freight controls in Dover, Kent.
The vehicle was carrying a legitimate consignment of air fresheners, however a thorough search by Border Force officers revealed sealed packages concealed within a hatch in the floor of the trailer, known as a coil well.
The 49 packages were found to contain £488,345 in sterling.
NCA investigators discovered that Turadek had a picked up the consignment of 33 pallets of aerosol air fresheners in Derby, and was en-route to deliver them, and the hidden cash, to Poland.
As well as his time behind bars, Turadek has also been ordered to forfeit the money that he had been attempting to smuggle, and the trailer used to conceal the cash.
Martin Grace, Branch Commander at the NCA, said:
“Cash is the lifeblood of organised crime.
Couriers like Turadek provide an essential service, allowing criminal networks to benefit from their crime and invest in further criminality.
Removing this cash courier from the chain will have dealt a significant blow to the criminal networks he worked for.
We remain determined to disrupt organised crime groups operating across borders and impacting on the UK.”
Security Minister James Brokenshire said:
“We will not tolerate organised crime groups’ brazen attempts to evade the law.
“This was outstanding work by Border Force, NCA and partners, which shows we will stop money launderers and bring them to justice.”