Man jailed for multi-million pound money laundering operation
- Credit: Met Police
A Norfolk man has been jailed for seven years for his part in an international £2.4 million money laundering operation and an attempt to launder a further £1.6 million.
Chandrasekar Nallayan, 44, of Kendle Road in Swaffham, was sentenced on Friday, May 29 for money laundering and fraud offences around the world.
Following an investigation by the Met Police’s Economic Crime Unit, a second man, Vijaya Kumar Krishnasamy, 32, from Purley in Surrey, was also sentenced to five years and nine months.
Croydon Crown Court heard that in 2018, police received a report from Barclays Bank that several IP addresses were repeatedly accessing multiple business accounts suspected of being used for money laundering.
Operation Palcalla saw officers from the Met’s Economic Crime Unit, working with the Cyber Defence Alliance (CDA), trace these IP addresses to properties in the Croydon area.
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Krishnasamy was arrested after a search warrant in May 2019 at one of these addresses that revealed hundreds of pages of documents relating to dozens of suspicious businesses and hundreds of bank accounts.
His mobile phone contained thousands of images of him accessing various suspect accounts online or withdrawing cash from ATMs.
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From the evidence on Krishnasamy’s mobile phone, Nallayan was identified as another suspect.
The court heard he was directing Krishnasamy as to where to transfer the criminal funds. Detectives discovered he owned or controlled ‘mule’ accounts that were being used to funnel the money through.
In total, 24 companies that were victim to the scam were identified from around the world.
They would receive a fraudulent email claiming to be from their client, who had previously invoiced them, informing them about a change of their bank account details.
Sixteen made actual payment of funds into these ‘mule’ accounts. The total value of those transfers was in excess of £2.4 million.
The other eight victims realised that the emails were not genuine, and reported the suspicious emails to their bank or the police.
Had these attempts been successful, the victims would have lost close to another £1.6 million.
Nallayan pleaded not guilty to conspiring to conceal, disguise, convert, transfer or remove criminal property between 1 February 2018 and 1 May 2019. He was convicted for all offences after a trial at Croydon Crown Court.
Detective Constable Milena Bingley, from the Met’s Central Specialist Crime - Economic Crime Unit, said: “This shameless pair have caused untold distress and worry to their victims. This case shows that those responsible for money laundering will be tracked down and face up to their crimes.”
A Barclays Bank spokesperson, said: “We continue to be committed to supporting law enforcement in its efforts to combat criminality and protect customers’ funds.
“We worked with the Metropolitan Police Service during its investigation and welcome the outcome of the proceedings.”