A man has been jailed after police found him smuggling £70,000 of cash wrapped in foil and disguised as “sandwiches”.
Mariusz Raczynski was jailed for 20 weeks for concealing criminal property.
Officers from the Rural Engagement Team (RET) were conducting routine checks in Harwich, Essex, at the end of July, when they were alerted to a lorry that was driving the wrong way in what appeared to be an attempt to avoid detection.
The team arrested the driver, 28-year-old Marius Raczynski, on suspicion of money laundering, after finding a bag in the lorry's cab containing silver foil packets the size of packets of sandwiches.
Once opened, the RET officers discovered £70,000 of cash and worked closely with the Proactive Money Laundering Team [PMLT] of the Specialist Crime Directorate to secure a charge.
Raczynski pleaded guilty at his first hearing at Chelmsford Crown Court on 8 September and has been jailed for 20 weeks for concealing criminal property.
Sergeant Paul Brady of the RET said: "We focus mainly on crimes that affect our rural communities, but we won’t turn a blind eye to other crimes.
“Policing is about being in the right place at the right time and to take effective action that will bring perpetrators to justice and keep everyone safe.”
Detective Constable Megan Tighe, who led the investigation, said: “In this case, our Rural Engagement Team colleagues were very proactive and alert to what was happening, meaning an arrest was quickly made.
“As the PMLT, we’ve worked hard to build the case and prove that the seized cash could only have come from crime.
“In just two months, that collaboration and our hard work throughout the investigation has resulted in a conviction."
What is money laundering and what sentence does it carry?
Under the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002, money laundering carries a prison sentence of up to 14 years or a large fine. The sentence depends on the amount of money involved – the seriousness of the offence increases with the amount of laundered cash.
Laundering drug money will typically lead to a higher sentence.
Concealing or disguising criminal property is defined as concealing or disguising its nature, source, location, disposition, movement or ownership or any rights with respect to it. The crime falls within money laundering offences defined by the Crown Prosecution Service.