24 December 2018
A man has been jailed for four years after he was caught with £439,140 in cash in the back of his van in Poplar, London.
Gintaras Kondrotas, aged 37, of no fixed address, was arrested in October following a joint investigation by the National Crime Agency and Metropolitan Police Service’s Organised Crime Partnership (OCP).
Kondrotas (pictured right) was seen meeting a man who gave him a large shopping bag and kept a lookout while Kondrotas put the bag in the back of his van.
The two men then shook hands and Kondrotas drove the van away.
Officers stopped and searched the van and found 19 wrapped cash packages in the shopping bag and another four in a rucksack. They also recovered five mobile phones that Kondrotas has in his possession.
The bags had been concealed beneath a box of parcels and washing powder had been used in an attempt to cover the packages and prevent their detection.
Kondrotas pleaded guilty to money laundering offences and was sentenced to four years in prison on Thursday (20 December) at Woolwich Crown Court.
Matt McMillan from the Organised Crime Partnership said: “Kondrotas initially denied any knowledge of the cash found in his van and would not provide PIN numbers for the five mobile phones in his possession.
“However, once the evidence was put to him, he pleaded guilty and acknowledged the cash had not come from a legitimate source.
“We know that every organised crime group relies on cash flow. Disrupting their activity and intercepting the money that is so important to their business stops them from investing in other criminal activity and paying their own people. It also damages the trust and credibility with other criminal groups, making it harder for them to do business together in future.
“We will continue to do all we can to stop organised crime groups and will use all the tools available to us."