Money laundering big fish admits arranging couriers including Tara Hanlon to fly millions to Dubai


EXCLUSIVE: AN Emirati national, who was arrested at a luxury Belgravia flat, has admitted being a senior figure in a multi-million pound money laundering network that flew huge amounts of cash from the UK to Dubai in suitcases.

Abdulla Mohammad Ali Alfalasi, 47, was due to stand trial but last month pleaded guilty at Isleworth Crown Court to an offence of money laundering in connection with a £110m plot and is due to be sentenced on Thursday (July 28). Alfalasi was arrested at a flat in the exclusive Lowndes Square (above), in Kensington and Chelsea, London, in December.

The charge that he admitted was that "between December 3 2019 and December 31 2020 he conspired with others to conceal, disguise, convert, transfer or remove criminal property, namely approximately £110 million in cash, by means of arranging and/or facilitating persons to remove cash via UK airports to the United Arab Emirates."

A separate charged of attempting to remove criminal property from England and Wales was left to lie on file.

Alfalasi was responsible for arranging a number of couriers to fly huge amounts of cash out of the country including Tara Hanlon, 31, (above) from Pelham Court, Leeds, who was jailed for two years and ten months in July 2021 after she admitted flying £3.5 million from Heathrow to Dubai and trying to get a further nearly £2 million out there.

He was also behind flights taken by Czech national Zdenek Kamaryt, 39, (above) who was arrested at Heathrow Airport as he prepared to fly to Dubai in November 2020.

He was found with more than £1.3 million in cash vacuum-packed in three suitcases that he had checked in for the flight.

Another £50,000 was found in his hand luggage, including bundles of £50 notes stuffed inside pairs of socks. Police described it as a “brazen attempt” to take money out the country as his bags carried little other than cash.

He was identified as having made two previous trips in July and August.

On May 18 at the same court another courier Nicola Esson, 55, of Stanks Close, Leeds, admitted one count of removing criminal property from England and Wales as did Muhammed Geyas Ilyas, 29, of no fixed address on May 27 and both are awaiting sentence.

Two other alleged couriers have denied the same charges and are awaiting trial.

Dubai has become a mecca for crime syndicates to launder their cash in property developments.

The NCA has identified the United Arab Emirates as one of five nations where UK criminal cash is most likely to be laundered alongside Russia, China, Hong Kong and Pakistan.