Eurtotunnel terminal in Folkestone Library image
A delivery driver who hid around £720,000 of illegally-earned cash within the side panelling of his van has been jailed.
Simonas Moise, 49, was attempting to leave the UK via the Channel Tunnel on Monday 6 June 2023 when his vehicle caught the attention of security staff.
Kent Police officers arrived and carried out a search of the seemingly-empty van, where they discovered around 90 separate bundles of cash hidden in a secret compartment.
Moise, of no fixed address, was arrested and claimed in interview to have been transporting the money on behalf of a contact in Romania.
He denied the cash was linked to criminal activity but was found guilty of money laundering following a trial at Canterbury Crown Court and sentenced to three-and-a-half years’ imprisonment on Friday 8 December.
Investigating officer Detective Constable Gemma Simpson of Kent Police’s Border Investigations Unit said:
‘Simonas Moise claimed to be an innocent middle-man with no knowledge of any wrongdoing but if that were true he would have had no need to go to such great lengths to hide the vast sums of cash he was attempting to smuggle out of the country.
‘He was in fact well aware the money had been earned through criminal means and was trying his best to exit the UK undetected. I am pleased the jury in his trial saw through his lies and that another offender who wrongly thought he could pull the wool over our eyes has been caught and sent to prison.’
The cash seized from Moise was forfeited under the Proceeds of Crime Act at a previous court hearing in September and will be redistributed to agencies including Kent Police under the Asset Recovery Incentivisation Scheme.