Fraudulent companies using adult entertainment websites as part of an international money laundering racket collected more than £ 5 million.
A judge at Manchester Magistrates’ Court in November approved the loss of £ 5.8 million in criminally obtained funds following an investigation by the Greater Manchester Police (GMP).
The company’s directors had 30 days to appeal the verdict. However, this time has expired and you can withhold the full amount.
It is the largest criminal proceeds law proceeds in GMP history.
The investigation involved three Manchester-based companies registered in 2018 that were linked to adult entertainment websites offering “pay-per-view” services to live-streaming exotic dancers.
However, research found that the websites did not offer the advertised services and instead were a way to launder illegally received money.
Criminals used the third party websites’ payment process to launder more than $ 60 million over a 12 month period.
This money was the proceeds of a highly developed and highly organized network of international criminal activity.
In January 2020, the third-party payment platform linked to the sites ended their relationship after an internal review.
At the same time, GMP investigators launched an investigation into the freezing of civil accounts against the three companies that had received the funds in an international bank account in Germany.
Detective Chief Inspector Tony Norman of the Force Economic Crime Unit said, “This is an excellent seizure of funds that the court has arranged through criminal means.
“They would likely have been used by organized crime groups to advance their agendas, but thanks to the dedication of our officials investigating this fraud, they are being used to fight organized crime and fund community projects to support the greater Manchester area .
“In the White Collar Crime Division of the Greater Manchester Police Department, we are determined to fight organized crime by using the powers conferred on us under the Crime Proceeds Act to track down and seize such illegal assets to prevent that criminals profit from their illegal actions and instead invest again. ” these funds to improve communities. ”