Lancashire man found with £100k in ‘criminal cash’ stashed in Mercedes at Channel Tunnel

A man from Lancashire has been charged as part of a National Crime Agency investigation into the discovery of suspected criminal cash in excess of £100,000.

Wednesday, 27th January 2021, 12:07 pm
Updated Wednesday, 27th January 2021, 12:11 pm

Ajet Balesi, 29, an Albanian national living in Ramsbottom, near Bury, was arrested at the Channel Tunnel terminal in Kent on January 24.

He was questioned, alongside two other men he was travelling with, by NCA investigators after Border Force officers recovered the money, which was hidden behind the dashboard of the Mercedes he was driving.

The cash was seized as the suspected proceeds of crime.

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Border Agency officers discovered £100,000 in cash hidden behind the dashboard of the Mercedes that Ajet Balesi was driving after he was stopped at the Channel Tunnel terminal in Kent on January 24

As part of the investigation, a home in Bury was searched by NCA officers.

Balesi was charged with attempting to conceal or transfer criminal property, and appeared before Folkestone Magistrates yesterday (January 26).

He was remanded in custody until his next appearance at Canterbury Crown Court on March 1.

The two other men, Albanian nationals aged 39 and 31, were released under investigation.

NCA investigators suspect the £100,000 in cash is the proceeds of drug dealing, exploitation and other illegal activity

National Crime Agency branch commander Martin Grace said: "This was a substantial amount of cash, which we suspect is the proceeds of drug dealing and other illicit activity.

"Taking profits off organised criminals means they can no longer invest that money in further criminality, violence and exploitation.

"Working with law enforcement partners like Border Force we are determined to do all we can to disrupt this flow of illicit cash."