Yuming Dong, a former engineering student, has been arrested after British Transport Police (BTP) found more than £250,000 in a suitcase when he boarded a train in Piccadilly. Dong was found guilty of money laundering at Manchester Crown Court and given an 18-month prison sentence suspended for two years.
The 21-year-old was part of a sophisticated and sophisticated “Chinese underground banking scheme” among students at the University of Manchester, which investigators said involved “large-scale money laundering and deception”. Dong works as a courier, and uses the rail network to move hundreds of thousands of pounds in illicit money from London to Manchester.
While appearing before Manchester Crown Court, it was revealed that Dong had on at least two occasions traveled between London and Manchester to move more than £400,000 of illicit cash for use as a cash collector. In 2019, Dong actually turned himself in when he texted the British Transport Police to report a suspicious person carrying a large yellow suitcase on a train. Officers boarded the train in Manchester Piccadilly and found £255,000 in cash in his bag, which was then seized.
A search of his home address later revealed diaries that mentioned money laundering, along with used train tickets from his previous trips to London. Further investigations into the number he used to send a text message to BTP proved the extent of his involvement in the criminal conspiracy. Hong Qian Wang, another University of Manchester student banker in the scheme, was jailed for two years after pleading guilty to money laundering in March 2021.
Speaking after the sentencing, Detective Inspector Granville Sellers, British Transport Police, said: “This was a complex and painstaking investigation that uncovered a complex criminal operation involving large-scale money laundering and deception. The sum of money involved is simply astounding, but it is very satisfying to know. That more than £250,000 of that amount will now be used as police money, allowing us to invest more in keeping travelers safe.
He added, “Money laundering is not a victimless crime, it is a crime. The money involved often stems from criminal activity, such as drug trafficking and exploitation. We will always take these reports seriously and work tirelessly to bring the perpetrators to court.”