British woman charged after being found with £1.9m cash at Heathrow Airport
A British woman who tried to flee to Dubai from Heathrow Airport with five suitcases stuffed full of £1.9m in cash has been charged with money laundering, UK Border Force announced today.
Tara Hanlon, a 30-year-old woman from Leeds, was stopped at Heathrow’s Terminal 2 at 8pm last Saturday attempting to board a flight to Dubai.
Border Force officers found £1.9m-worth of banknotes spread across five suitcases, marking the largest cash bust at the border so far this year.
She was arrested alongside a 28-year-old woman, also from Yorkshire, before being referred to the National Crime Agency.
Hanlon was charged with money laundering at Uxbridge Magistrates Court on Monday, where she was remanded in custody until her next court appearance on 5 November.
Chris Philp, Tory MP and minister for immigration compliance, said: “This is the largest individual cash seizure at the border so far in 2020 and I am delighted with the efforts of Border Force officers.
“Preventing the export of undeclared cash from the UK is a vital step in clamping down on organised criminal gangs.”
The National Economic Crime Centre (NECC) has led recent calls for new regulation to ensure businesses’ supervisory systems are able to identify potential money laundering activity, which costs the UK more than £100bn each year.
Following a spate of high-profile money laundering scandals last year, the NECC said the fresh regulation was urgent to clamp down on the criminal money, which “results in a loss of confidence in [the] UK economy which has far reaching consequences for us all”.
Rick Kent of the NECC said: “Virtually all high-end money laundering schemes, and several cash based ones, are facilitated by the abuse of legitimate processes and services.”
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