LONDON – A British court has awarded four and half year imprisonment to a Pakistani woman after she was found guilty of money laundering and vandalising.
Kingston Crown Court’s Judge Stephen John also handed sentences to Razwana Zeib’s husband Rafaqat Hussain and three others accused for stealing and conspiring in money laundering.
The mother of four was facing charges of planning to launder GBP7 million cash, one of the largest sums in recent years, from Heathrow Airport.
The judge remarked, “This was a sophisticated operation which involved meticulous planning and execution”.
The court awarded her sentence for opening a bank account in Pakistan intending to launder around GBP900,000 of the total cash, which was stolen by her husband with the assistance to two security guards.
The British judge also remarked while handing sentence to Zeib as “You accept that you were not coerced. You were a willing participant, you were in it for financial gain and you were not a naïve and unassuming wife”.
Hussain, who already received a sentence, had helped Loomis van security guard Ranjeev Singh and driver Mohammad Siddique, who were transporting cash packed in 26 bags belonging to Credit Suisse from the BA cargo depot at Heathrow Airport to the Bank of Ireland, to stage a fake heist.
After stealing the money, Hussain, 41, then made a plan to launder the stolen cash with the assistance of his wife.
A secret discussion between the couple recorded by the police through a device planted in Hussain’s vehicle also played in the court in which both were caught discussing the stolen money.
Prosecutor Sandip Patel QC argued that Zeib played a prominent role in the fake heist as revealed by the police probe.
The court has given her three-and-a-half years jail for conspiring to launder money and another year for planning to loot a house, which the couple wanted to purchase, in order to reduce the value of the property.
In October, the court had sentenced Hussain to 10 years and three months prison to make plan for steal, money laundering and vadalising.
Security guard Siddique, 32, and driver Singh, 40, also got to six-and-a-half years in jail for conspiracy to steal.