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Cash found in Verdes' hotel room
Cash found in Verdes' hotel room

Press release -

Crooked courier caught with £776k dirty cash jailed for two years

A criminal cash courier, who was caught at a North Stevenage hotel with more than £774,000 stuffed in carrier bags, has been jailed.

Gabriel Verdes, 30, from Moldova, flew into Stansted Airport on 21 July 2018 but was caught by officers from HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) just eight days later with a stash of used notes hidden in his hotel room.

Verdes was seen leaving the hotel before returning with carrier bags full of cash. During a search of Verdes’ room, HMRC officers found £774,045 stuffed in carrier bags and hidden in a suitcase in the wardrobe.

After his arrest Verdes was found to be carrying a further £2,695 in his rucksack. When questioned by investigators, he refused to comment or explain where any of the money had come from.

Paul Maybury, Assistant Director, Fraud Investigation Service, HMRC, said:

“Verdes was caught red handed with bags full of cash. The money found in his room is the equivalent to the salaries of 33 new NHS nurses for an entire year.

“I urge anybody who knows of anyone handling large quantities of unexplained cash, or committing any type of tax fraud, to report it to HMRC online or call our Fraud Hotline on 0800 788 887.”

Verdes was found guilty of money laundering at Cambridge Crown Court on 16 November 2018 and on the same day was jailed for two years.

Today (22 November 2018), the money was forfeited to the Crown following a hearing at Manchester and Salford Magistrates Court.

Information about any type of tax fraud can be reported to HMRC online at www.gov.uk/report-an-unregistered-trader-or-business.

Notes for Editors

  1. Gabriel Verdes (29/10/1988) from Moldova pleaded not guilty to entering into a money laundering arrangement contrary to section 328 of the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 (‘POCA’) at St Albans Crown Court on 31 August 2018. He was jailed for two years at Cambridge Crown Court on 16 November 2018.
  2. Fully qualified nurses start on salaries of £23,023 rising to £29,608 on Band 5 of the Pay bands and pay points on the second pay spine in England. Salaries in London attract a high-cost area supplement. https://www.nhsemployers.org/tchandbook/annex-1-to-3/annex-2-pay-bands-and-pay-points-on-the-second-pay-spine-in-england
  3. HMRC’s flickr site www.flickr.com/hmrcgovuk
  4. Follow HMRC’s press office on Twitter @HMRCpressoffice

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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.

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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.

HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC)
100 Parliament St
SW1A 2BQ London