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A student was found guilty of money laundering after being caught with £250,000 of cash in a suitcase on a train, having handed himself in to the British Transport Police.
Yuming Dong, 21, was part of a complex ‘Chinese underground banking scheme’ among students at the University of Manchester, which detectives said involved 'large scale money laundering and deception’.
As a courier, he would use trains to transport hundreds of thousands of pounds in illegal money from London to Manchester.
After turning himself in to authorities, police found Dong with a suitcase containing £250,000 in cash.
Following an investigation by the British Transport Police, the former engineering student has now been sentenced, having appeared at Manchester Crown Court on Thursday 28 July.
He was handed an 18-month jail sentence, suspended for two years.
Hong Qian Wang, another University of Manchester student who had been the banker in the scheme, was jailed for two years after pleading guilty to money laundering in March 2021.
Dong had travelled between London and Manchester on at least two occasions to transport more than £400,000 in illegal cash, which was to be used as a cash pool.
On 4 February 2019, Dong texted the British Transport Police to report a suspicious person carrying a large yellow suitcase on a train.
When officers boarded the train, they found the student ‘behaving in an agitated way’, before almost £255,000 in cash was discovered inside the suitcase, which was then seized and Dong was arrested on suspicion of money laundering.
A search of his home address later revealed a diary that mentioned money laundering, along with used train tickets from his previous trips to London.
Further investigation also found that the number he used to text the British Transport Police proved the extent of his involvement within the scheme.
Speaking after sentencing, Detective Inspector Granville Sellers, from BTP’s Major Serious and Organised Crime team, said: “This was a complex and painstaking investigation which uncovered a sophisticated criminal operation involving large scale money laundering and deception.
“The sum of money involved is simply staggering, but it’s very satisfying to know that over £250,000 of this will now be used as police funds – allowing us further investment in keeping the travelling public safe.
“Money laundering is not a victimless crime, the cash involved often originates from criminal activity such as drug dealing and exploitation. The lure of easy money may seem worth the risk; however the sentences handed out should act as a stern deterrent.”