Inside ‘£100M smuggling ring’ with ex-glamour models ‘stashing £5M dirty cash in suitcases on business class flights | The Sun

A GANG of alleged cash smugglers had a network of "work phones" they used to film themselves unloading millions of pounds of criminal profits in Dubai.

Isleworth Crown Court heard how former glamour model Jo-Emma Larvin, 44, hid wads of notes in her luggage before flying it out from Heathrow to the Middle East.

Larvin made the first trip with co-accused Amy Harrison, 27, of Surrey. The pair are said to have taken £2.2m into Dubai across seven suitcases.

On Larvin's second trip in September, her partner Jonathan Johnson, 55, travelled with her.

Prosecutors say £2.8m was smuggled by the couple – this time across eight cases.

Members of the £5m smuggling ring, which also allegedly include Beatrice Auty, 26, and Liam Rabone, 29, would fly business class so they could take more luggage.

The gang would also pack the cases with holiday essentials to hide the money.

Rabone is alleged to have been recruited into the scheme by Tara Hanlon, a glamorous kingpin.

Hanlon has admitted money-laundering offences, the jury head.

Julian Christopher KC, prosecuting, told the court how members of the ring filmed themselves unpacking the bundles of cash in Dubai.

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Four videos were found on Auty's phone which showed her unpacking the cash after a trip on October 3 2020.

Mr Christopher said : "There are photos taken…of lots and lots of bundles of cash laid out on the floor, the video is the
unpacking of the cash onto the carrier bags."

He told jurors how the alleged smugglers had access to special work phones which were protected by a pin.

He said: "The pin number would obviously give access to the messages on the work phone, presumably the sort of message that says he would be travelling out with cash to Dubai."

He added : "Just another inkling at his state of mind as of the need to keep secret [how] he is involved in with the communications in relation to these trips."

Larvin and Johnson, along with Harrison, Beatrice Auty, 26, and Rabone, 29, all deny removing criminal property from the UK.

Auty took three trips to Dubai and is charged with attempting to remove criminal cash on the third, after the cases were intercepted by the National Crime Agency.

She is also accused of assisting on another 11 smuggling runs.
Harrison allegedly two other trips as well as the one she made with Larvin, smuggling £6m, while Rabone took three trips.

They are said to have declared cash once arriving in Dubai, handing over a letter authorising them to carry it from a company called Omnivest.

Mr Christopher said the defendants "played a significant part in the transportation of very large amounts of cash"to Dubai from Heathrow.

Millions of pounds in English and Scottish banknotes were carried in suitcases checked in as luggage, the court heard.

Anything over Euro 10,000 Euros leaving the EU has to be declared to HMRC, but the smugglers' suitcases usually contained up to £500,000, the prosecutor said.

The couriers were paid £3,000 and all their expenses for their trips to Dubai before flying back with 'their very considerably lighter' suitcases, jurors heard.

The organiser, Abdulla Alfalasi, 47, arranged 83 successful trips over 18 months and these defendants were involved in 16 while two more were unsuccessful.

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The total amount of cash taken out of the UK in those 83 trips was 'is in the region of £100m', the court heard.

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