Bermondsey cash smuggler nabbed with £120,000 in Scottish notes – in a bin bag

A souvenir seller who claimed a bin bag full of £120,000 cash was to start a new business has been sentenced – and had the cash confiscated.

Sayd Mstafa Ali, 37, of Oldfield Grove, Bermondsey, was caught with the money by customs officers in July 2016, sitting in the passenger seat of a car in Wigan.

Ali – previously known as Adam Barzhinji – claimed the cash was from property transactions in Kurdistan and would be used to fund his new business. He did not contest the £119,840 cash being seized by HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC), which was forfeited to the Crown on 14 December 2016.

HMRC Fraud Investigation Service assistant director Paul Maybury said: “Ali thought he could get away with breaking the law by smuggling cash, but he was wrong and is now paying the price with a criminal record. The cash seized, almost £120,000, is the equivalent to the starting salary of four new nurses in London.

“We encourage anyone with information regarding money laundering to report it to HMRC
online, or contact our Fraud Hotline on 0800 788 887.”

On 14 January 2019, Ali appeared at Bolton Crown Court and admitted money laundering.
He was sentenced to 21 months in jail, suspended for 18 months and ordered to undertake
100 hours of unpaid work.

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