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Professional money launderers jailed in Jersey

26/05/2022

Muhiddin Umurzokov, Anvarjon Eshonkulov and Batsukh Bataa [The defendants] made two trips to Jersey to launder approximately £60,000 in Jersey banknotes on behalf of another organised crime group.

On the first trip,

  • Umurzokov visited Jersey on his own.
  • During the weekend, he converted £7,000 into US Dollars at the Post Office and paid £2,000 into a UK account controlled by him but in the name of another person at Lloyd’s Bank (Counts 1 and 2).

On the second trip to Jersey,

  • Umurzokov, Eshonkulov and Bataa made a series of visits to banks, the Post Office, car dealerships and shops, making 13 further conversions in the total sum of approximately £36,000 (Counts 3, 6-16 and 18) by purchasing
    • Mobile telephones and other consumer devices, and
    • Making exchanges or deposits at the counters or automated deposit machines of three bank branches and the post office.
  • They also attempted unsuccessfully to convert £38,000 cash into UK currency at the post office and a bank (Counts 4 and 5); and
  • Attempted unsuccessfully to convert further tens of thousands of pounds by purchasing a valuable watch and new cars (Counts 17 and 19).

As they attempted to leave the island at the end of the week, the defendants’ car was searched, and officers found

  • The electronic devices and clothing that had been purchased,
  • Together with cash of £13,077 in Jersey banknotes,
  • £2,355 in Bank of England notes and €2,550 (Counts 20-22).

These people were Professional money launderers – the courts applied the principles in Bhojwani v AG [2011] JCA 034,

The following principles were added:-

  • No distinction is to be drawn as a matter of law between the laundering of one’s own proceeds of crime and the proceeds of crime committed by third parties.
  • A professional money laundering service is not necessarily more serious than laundering the proceeds of a one-off fraud – it may be so, but each case will depend on its own facts.
  • The interests of Jersey as a finance centre justified an element of deterrence in the sentence.”

Read the judgement here

JERSEY