Diamond traders jailed for laundering £50m for gangsters
A couple who ran a diamond trading business have been jailed for laundering around £50 million in less than two years for organised crime gangs.
Danny Koort and Jeanette Rosen ran a legitimate diamond dealing business but used it as cover to clean the money.
The pair used code names such as Fiat, Honda, Champagne, Cristal and Caviar to refer to customers in detailed diaries of their deals.
Entries for deals from January 2013 to November 2014 suggest they may have laundered up to £53m.
Dutch national Koort, 52, and Rosen, 48, both from East Finchley, north London, were jailed for 11 and 10 years respectively at the Old Bailey following an investigation by the National Crime Agency (NCA) and the City of London Police.
Accomplice Andrew Russell, 54, of Ongar in Essex, was also convicted of money laundering and jailed for four years, the NCA said.
Rosen, acting on Koort's behalf, would take part in street exchanges with couriers to transfer massive sums of cash.
The gang was snared when officers arrested Russell in July 2014 with almost £200,000 in cash in a holdall in his car.
He had been under surveillance at a meeting at an Essex hotel where he collected a large bag before going to an Argos shop, buying a holdall and filling it with cash.
Later that day officers photographed Russell and Rosen meeting in a street, though he did not hand her the money.
She was arrested on November 28 that year when police caught her carrying a bag with almost £170,000 inside in a central London street.
Officers searching her office discovered another 235,000 in euro and around £17,000 in cash, while 10 pay-as-you-go mobile phones were found in her car, nine with code names written on.
At their home a piece of paper headed "my big friend" had calculations for amounts in sterling and euro, with an outstanding amount of £60,100. There was also a bag of counterfeit notes.
NCA investigator Tony Luhman said: "Koort and Rosen had enormous sums of money going through their books and were clearly doing a lot of business with many organised crime groups.
"Their conviction removes a money laundering facility on which numerous other criminals have depended, and now makes life harder for crooks looking to clean their dirty cash."
DC Mark Edwards said: "Money launderers are integral to organised crime. Stopping operations like Koort and Rosen's, where funds were laundered on an industrial scale, inflicts massive damage on serious organised gangs."