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East London fraudsters who posed with stacks of stolen cash jailed for total of 33 years

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Two East London fraudsters have been jailed for a total of 33 years after posing with stacks of stolen cash.

Artem Terzyan, 38, from Russia and Deivis Grochiatskij, 44, from Lithuania, both lived in flats next to each other in Munning House, East London. They laundered up to £70 million it was found from 2017.

They were the focus of a four-year investigation by the Organised Crime Partnership – a joint National Crime Agency and Metropolitan Police Service unit.

They were thought to be heading up an international crime network that laundered £70 million between 2017-2021.

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Cash on the table in Grochiatskij flat

The investigation began in October 2017 when officers watched an associate Auriel Zylyfi place a large bag of cash in an Audi at a money counting-house in North West London.

A month later another man, Artur Terziu, was seen handing over £40,000 to Zylyfi in the underground car park of his flat in Hazlemere Court, Hendon.

Both of these men were arrested and sentenced to a year in prison.

When the OCP searched Zylyfi’s flat, they seized a ledger showing a four-month period of money laundering in excess of £7 million.

The following seven months, officers routinely spotted the same Audi they saw at the money counting-house.

They saw it travelling extensively around London, stopping at lorry parks and service stations to pick up more cash, before returning to London.

The officers were then able to link the Audi to Terzyan and Grochiatskij. It regularly drove to Munning House.

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On a number of occasions, the OCP saw large bags of cash being taken from the Audi into the block of flats.

Along with the Terzyan and Grochiatskij, officers saw other members of their criminal network open bank accounts across London.

They opened these accounts in the names of fake companies they had set up, depositing large sums of money into these accounts at a time.

The money would then be sent from one shell company to another, then sent to international accounts in countries such as Hong Kong, Germany, UAE, Czech Republic and Singapore.

In June 2018, the OCP officers arrested Terzyan and Grochiatskij at both their flats.

Deivis Grochiatskij was sentenced to 16 years in prison

Deivis Grochiatskij was sentenced to 16 years in prison

While searching their flats, they found a ledger detailing the money laundering and the amounts, an encrypted phone, bank cards and accounts detailing their fake companies.

On Grochiatskij computer, they found incriminating images of his associates handling cash in his flat. They also found details of the bank accounts used.

After being arrested and released on bail, the pair continued their ways.

They turned their attention to the Covid support scheme of Bounce Back loans that the government implemented.

They claimed fraudulent bank loans for their fake shell companies.

Artem Terzyan was jailed for 17 years

Artem Terzyan was jailed for 17 years

They claimed up to £50,000 a time, in the end, they claimed £10 million in total.

Alongside exploiting the support scheme, they still continued their previous money laundering.

Between June 2018 and November 2020, after being arrested again, it was found they had laundered a further £34m including the £10m they generated from the BBLs.

The OCP measured the safe and is believed there could have been up to £3 million in it

The OCP measured the safe and is believed there could have been up to £3 million in it

They were each charged with two counts of money laundering, for which they were found guilty following a seven-week trial in September 2021.

Earlier this month at Kingston Crown Court, Terzyan was sentenced to 17 years in prison and Grochiatskij to 16 years.

Andy Tickner, from the Organised Crime Partnership, said: “This was a painstaking and complex investigation in which the team analysed reams of financial data and transactions.

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“Ultimately the case proved that these two had built a sophisticated, large-scale money laundering system which saw them transfer £70m worth of criminal cash out of the UK.

“They did so by setting up hundreds of bogus companies and utilising an international network of criminals under their control.

“To top it off, they stole over £10m from British taxpayers in what is believed to be one of the largest Bounce Back Loan frauds since the scheme was introduced in 2020.

“These men and their network played a vital role in enabling other criminals to conceal and access their illicit earnings. The removal of this service will have been a massive blow to organised criminals in the UK and globally.”

On sentencing the two men, HHJ Shetty noted that their exploitation of the BBL scheme played a part in “undermining the Government and financial institutions” and that the “the British taxpayer will be staggered and upset that part of their hard-earned tax contributions was going into the pockets of criminals.”

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