London’s Metropolitan Police seized £5 million ($7 million) in cash – the largest amount ever taken by the capital’s police force – after police noticed a man struggling to carry bags stashed full of money.
Authorities said that on June 5, Ruslan Shamsutdinov was spotted exiting an address in Fulham, southwest London, and was “noticeably struggling” to carry heavy bags, which he put in a nearby parked car.
Police officers stopped him, and found a “considerable amount of cash” in the bags, according to a police statement.
A search of the apartment revealed a money-laundering scheme and cash worth more than £5 million, police said.
Some 39,000 euros ($47,000) and more than £8,000 ($11,346) was also found at Shamsutdinov’s home address, police said.
“As part of a long running operation against gun crime and large scale Class A drugs supply across London, over five million pounds in criminal cash was seized from an address in Fulham. This is the largest ever single cash seizure by the Met and I believe one of the largest ever nationally,” Detective Superintendent Jason Prins, from the Specialist Crime Command said in a statement.
“Organised crime is motivated by money and is one of the biggest causes of violence on our streets. Tackling this violence is our main priority. This seizure, and the conviction of these men for laundering that money, will have a major impact on the ability of a number of crime groups to carry on with their activities,” he added.
The discovery came following a protracted operation focused on firearms offenses and large-scale drug supply across London, police said.
Three men – Ruslan Shamsutdinov, Sergejs Auzins and Serwan Ahmadi – were sentenced on Friday at Harrow Crown Court after pleading guilty last year to conspiracy to conceal/disguise/convert/transfer/remove criminal property.
Shamsutdinov, 36, received three years and nine months’ imprisonment, Auzins, 46 was sentenced to three years and four months’ imprisonment, and Ahmadi, 35 to one year and eight months’ imprisonment, suspended for two years imprisonment and ordered to do 150 hours of unpaid work.
Auzins was identified as a large-scale money launderer during the investigation, police said.