Border forces stopped four Polish criminals from leaving Britain with almost £1.5 million in cash – hidden in bags of chicken feed.
Poles Mariusz Ancygier, 28, and Mariusz Maciag, 38, were stopped by officers at the Channel Tunnel – with almost a million pounds stashed inside animal food in their van.
The pair were caught at the Folkestone border on November 11, 2015.
Poles Mariusz Ancygier, 28, and Mariusz Maciag, 38, were stopped by officers at the Channel Tunnel – with almost a million pounds stashed inside animal food in their van
Eight days later, police arrested Adam Grobelny, 32, and Marcin Nowaczyk, 29, carrying £500,000 in cash hidden in chicken feed heading to the same Polish zoo
Border Force agents stopped the two vans as they tried to leave the country in 2015
Investigators found the cash hidden inside the food bags and vacuum packed to protect it
They tried claiming the sacks of feed were destined for a zoo in Poland – despite having £980,000 in vacuum-sealed cash inside.
Eight days later, officers stopped another van, destined for the same zoo, loaded with animal food sacks and £500,000 in cash.
Adam Grobelny, 32, and Marcin Nowaczyk, 29, were arrested at the scene.
All four men were found guilty today following a two week trial at Canterbury Crown Court.
Ancygier and Maciag were each sentenced to seven years in prison, while Grobelny and Nowaczyk received two years each.
National Crime Agency Dover branch operations manager Mark Harding said: ‘Organised crime groups rely on money launderers like these men to allow them to benefit from their crime and re-invest their criminal profits.
‘Not only have we taken a considerable sum of cash out of the hands of criminal networks, we have taken a group of money launderers out of that chain.
‘This makes it more difficult for criminals trying to clean their dirty cash.’
National Crime Agency investigators were able to piece together their movements before they found the cash – proving they had stopped from picking up the feed in Essex but before arriving at the Chunnel.
Paul Morgan, Director of Border Force South East and Europe said: ‘Border Force officers play a crucial role in preventing drugs, contraband or the proceeds of crime from crossing our border, and where our officers suspect that cash may be linked with criminal activity, we have the power to seize it.’
The two vans were supposedly carrying animal feed to a zoo in Poland, but instead they had a total of £1.5 million in cash vacuum packed and hidden inside the bags of chicken feed
The four men were accused of being part of a major criminal money laundering gang