A couple who "helped many of the UK’s most serious and dangerous criminal gangs" have been stripped of cash to repay more than £1.2million.
Moothathamby Sriskantharajah, 61, and his wife Thilageswary, 50, formerly of Marlborough Road, from Iselworth were jailed for money laundering in 2014.
The pair, who ran a criminal network using three family-owned bureaux de change as a front, have now had cash seized from offshore bank accounts, jewellery and property.
The husband and wife were stripped of the following assets after a hearing under the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 at Southwark Crown Court last Thursday (January 19).
- A £480,000 house on Marlborough Road, Isleworth, Middlesex.
- A property in Kornwestheim, Stuttgart, Germany worth £200,000.
- Jewellery stored in a Harrods safe deposit box worth £82,162.
- A Mercedes A160 worth £3,280.
- Around £535,000 in bank accounts in the UK, Singapore, Canada and Germany.
The Sriskantharajahs were jailed in December 2014 for combined total of 19 years following an investigation by HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) which found they had "cleaned up" £96m of dirty cash.
The pair laundered the proceeds of crime, including money from a major drug trafficking ring that saw three people jailed for 44 years after police found drugs worth £12million and £2.1million in cash.
The couple's bureaus located in London tourist hotspots gave the impression of running legitimate businesses but HMRC found their main source of trade was exchanging Sterling from criminals for high denominations of Euro notes.
The bureaus traded as Universal Money Exchange (UME), in Shaftesbury Avenue and Oxford Street, and Buckingham Money Exchange (BME), in Buckingham Palace Road.
A raid by HMRC officers of UME in September 2011 unravelled more than £100,000 in cash, keys for two safe deposit boxes at Harrods containing £223,000, $90,000 and €50,000 in cash – money forfeited to the Crown – as well as expensive gold jewellery.
The investigation uncovered a majority of cash had been spent on jewellery, property investments in the UK and abroad and school tuition fees.
The couple were ordered to repay £435,373.25 each within three months or remain in prison for a further four years.
Simon York, director of the Fraud Investigation Service at HMRC, said: “This couple helped many of the UK’s most serious and dangerous criminal gangs.
"Now they’ve lost everything – their liberty and all their assets.
“HMRC treats money laundering extremely seriously.
"This case clearly shows we will not hesitate to take criminal assets no matter whether they are in the UK or offshore.”
Moothathamby was previously found guilty of offences under the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 and sentenced to 12 years in jail at Southwark Crown Court on December 18, 2014, and banned from being a director for 12 years.
Thilageswary was previously found guilty of offences under the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 and sentenced to seven years jail.
She was also banned from being a director for eight years.
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