A Turkish lorry driver who smuggled more than £12 million of criminal cash out of the UK has been jailed.
Nasuf Nasufoglu, 40, from Istanbul, was arrested in Dover in September last year when Border Force officers found six packages of cash totalling £264,050 stashed in fridge panels in his lorry.
Nasufoglu collected the cash from organised crime groups around the UK for delivery to associates overseas.
He was targeted as part of an investigation by the joint National Crime Agency and Metropolitan Police Organised Crime Partnership.
Nasufoglu was also in possession of £1,200 and 900 euros – his payment for acting as a courier – plus eight mobile phones and multiple sim cards, the NCA said on Friday.
Phone evidence showed he couriered money approximately 45 times between May and late September 2019.
Images on his phone depicted 272 packages which officers estimated held £12 million in cash.
He pleaded guilty to concealing criminal property at an earlier hearing and was sentenced at Canterbury Crown Court on Friday to four and a half years in prison.
Matt McMillan, Organised Crime Partnership operations manager, said: “Nasufoglu repeatedly acted as a courier, smuggling a huge amount of criminal money out of the country.
“He made multiple journeys using his employment as a legitimate lorry driver as cover.
“Cash is the lifeblood of organised crime. Couriers like Nasufoglu provide a vital service, allowing criminal networks to benefit from their crime and re-invest in further criminality.
“Disrupting the flow of illicit money is a priority for the National Crime Agency and Metropolitan Police, and removing this cash courier from the chain will have dealt a significant blow to the criminal networks he worked for.”