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Money bureau boss jailed for laundering over £100m

Press Release   •   May 27, 2014 09:50 BST

A bureaux de change owner and two of his employees were jailed on Friday (23 May 2014) for laundering over £100 million of criminal cash through his business.

Thillianathan Kumarathas and Ramanathan Thayaparan recruited mutual friend, Dinesh Kumar Anandan, to help launder dirty money through Kumarathas’s two bureaux in Victoria, London.

The men would receive the “dirty” money from criminal gangs, who mixed with unsuspecting tourists when they brought bags of cash to the bureaux de change. The money was exchanged for €500 notes which could be easily concealed.

The defendants took a percentage of the cash and used their illegal profit to buy several properties in the UK, France and India, and paid for private schooling for their children.

David Margree, Assistant Director, HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) said:

“This was a calculated attempt to make a dishonest living and help organised criminals go undetected by exchanging the money they got from criminal activity. These sentences send out a very clear message that money laundering is a serious crime and will not be tolerated.”

Assets restrained and subject to confiscation action include:

  • vehicles
  • restaurants
  • supermarkets
  • cash and funds held in bank accounts
  • business and residential properties.

Around £84,000 in cash was seized during searches of business and residential premises.

Notes for editors

1.  Photographs of the defendants and one of the business premises are available on request or from HMRC’s Flickr channel

2.  Details of the defendants sentenced on 23 May 2014, at Southwark Crown Court:

·  Thillianathan Kumarathas (DOB 08.07.55) of Eastcote Lane, Harrow, Middlesex HA2, was sentenced to five years in prison.

Kumarathas was the owner of the bureaux de change.

·  Ramanathan Thayaparan (DOB 18.11.71) of Eastcote Lane, Harrow, Middlesex HA2, was sentenced to nine years in prison.

Thayaparan worked as a money laundering reporting officer at Premier Exchange Ltd

·  Dinesh Kumar Anandan (DOB 14.07.79) of Pentland Close, Edmonton, London N9, was sentenced to two years in prison.

Anandan worked as a bureau de change manager

All defendants were found guilty of money laundering offences under the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002.

3.  The €500 note has since been withdrawn from circulation for use by UK wholesalers.

4.    Two other men John Obidegwu from Peckham, London, and Ike Johnson from Bechenham, Kent, were jailed for 24 years each in a related operation in October 2010.  For details please view previous news release:

5.   Follow HMRC on Twitter @HMRCgovuk

Issued by HM Revenue & Customs Press Office

HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) is the UK’s tax authority.

HMRC is responsible for making sure that the money is available to fund the UK’s public services and for helping families and individuals with targeted financial support.