THREE men have become the first in Scotland to be convicted of a major money laundering scam known as ‘cuckoo smurfing”.
Shop-keeper Muhammed Hameed roped in his uncle Saleem Shikari and worker Shahid Aslam to hide almost £700,000 of ill-gotten gains.
The sophisticated scheme the trio were part of involves crime gangs replacing legitimate sums of cash – intended for bank transfer overseas – with “dirty” money.
They were snared as part of Operation Confab – a huge probe set-up to catch Hameed and his associates.
When police swooped in 2013, the three were caught red-handed with a plastic bag stuffed with £75,000 of banknotes at Hameed’s flat in Dundee.
Hameed, 32, Aslam, 36 and 52-year-old Shikari are now behind bars after the they each pled guilty to a charge under the Proceeds of Crime Act.
A judge remanded them in custody and they face a lengthy jail-term when they are sentenced next month.