East Ham member of money laundering gang convicted

The owner of a luxury car hire firm which supplied top brand vehicles to criminals has been convicted following a long-running specialist investigation into money laundering.

Figen Sahir
Figen Sahir

The owner of a luxury car hire firm which supplied top brand vehicles to criminals has been convicted following a long-running specialist investigation into money laundering.

Ranjit Sagoo, 31, of Aintree Avenue, East Ham, the owner of Bespoke VIP, was found guilty of acquiring and dealing in criminal property yesterday.

A three-year investigation into the Canary Wharf company found it was being used as a cover to launder ill-gotten cash, including £48,000 stolen from a single customer.

A second member of the criminal gang, Molly Jones, 23, of Bohemia Close, Leigh-On-Sea, was found guilty of conspiracy to steal at Snaresbrook Crown Court.

Jones, who worked at the company as a customer accounts representative, created a joint account for one of the gang members, Jemma Deabreau, and the victim.

Deabreau, 48, of Portgate Close, Lydford Estate, Westminster, who previously pleaded guilty to conspiracy to steal and acquiring and dealing in criminal property in relation to the case, transferred the victim’s money into Sagoo’s business account,

The money was then moved on to other members of the gang, including Jones’ ex-boyfriend Samir Banks, also known as Zee, who is currently in prison for fraud offences.

Det Con Ryan Mills, who led the investigation, said: “Sagoo and his associates tried to hide cash through what is known as layering.

“They transferred the money through multiple bank accounts, trying to distance it as far as possible from the crime it originated from.

“But today’s result shows that no matter how hard criminals try to hide their illicit cash, no matter what complex system they set up, we will unpick it and prove what they have done.”

The court heard how an analysis into the business accounts of Sagoo found that he had received more than £1million over a period of five years which he could not account for.

It was also found that the firm had been hiring out its vehicles – including Ferraris, Bentleys, Lamborghinis and Range Rovers – to known criminals.

The investigation later spawned a major operation in December 2013, where detectives raided car hire firms suspected to be laundering cash and supplying vehicles to criminals, and seized 19 cars worth almost £1million.

During the trial jurors were also shown a montage found on Banks’ computer, featuring photos of diamonds, cash and luxury cars similar to those hired out from Sagoo’s firm.

One of the shots shows Banks standing on the roof of a car and features the words “ZEE’S WORLD” and “DON’T DREAM JUST MAKE IT HAPPEN”.

During an earlier hearing, Figen Sahir, a 28-year-old woman of Agnes George Walk, Silvertown, pleaded guilty to acquiring and dealing in criminal property, while Banks pleaded guilty to conspiracy to steal.

Detectives are now seeking a confiscation order, to make the criminal gang pay back money.

All have been bailed to be sentenced at Snaresbrook Crown Court on December 7.

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