Ten members of a network who laundered £70m for organised criminals have been sentenced. 

It comes after the final three members of the London-based group were sentenced today (March 10) after the criminal enterprise was taken out following a five-year investigation by the Organised Crime Partnership (OCP) 

The partnership which is a joint National Crime Agency and Metropolitan Police Service unit saw Artem Terzyan, 39, from Russia, and Deivis Grochiatskij, 45, from Lithuania charged. 

Investigators used evidence gained via surveillance, combined with the analysis of banking and Companies’ House records, to prove the pair set up bank accounts linked to shell companies to launder the money through.

Romford Recorder:

The Met shared money would be sent from one shell company to another in a complex web of transfers, before it was sent out to international accounts held in countries including Germany, Czech Republic, U.A.E, Hong Kong, and Singapore.

The two men also laundered £10m they had generated by claiming fraudulent Bounce Back Loans (BBLs) for the various shell companies they had set up.

Plus the OCP investigators identified that the group traded in the sale and purchase of luxury pre-owned watches as another way to launder illicit cash.

Speaking of the crimes, Andy Tickner from the OCP said: "Ultimately the case proved that Terzyan and Grochiatskij had built a sophisticated, large-scale money laundering system which saw them transfer £70m worth of criminal cash out of the UK.

“We were also able to build a picture around the structure of the network, as well as members’ individual roles in setting up bogus companies and moving money, both physically between bank accounts."