Husband and wife arrested over alleged airline crew smuggling plot

A couple have been arrested as part of a National Crime Agency investigation into cash smuggling and corruption involving airline employees.

The man, aged 49, and his wife, aged 53, were detained on suspicion of money laundering at their home address in Puttenham, near Guildford, Surrey, yesterday morning (10 January).

Around £15,000 cash was seized under the Proceeds of Crime Act following searches of the property, along with high value items worth an estimated £150,000.

The pair are suspected of using airline staff to smuggle criminal cash and other high value items out of the UK via Heathrow Airport.

They remain in custody and are being questioned by NCA investigators.

To date, Border Force have seized around £150,000 in cash and goods worth £100,000 from aircraft crew, seizures the NCA are now investigating.

Senior Investigating Officer Barry Vinall, from the NCA’s International Corruption Unit, said:

“The NCA are actively seeking out those who aid criminal networks by using their insider knowledge and access to bypass border controls at port and airports, threatening the UK’s border security.

“We are also working to disrupt illicit cash flows, preventing organised criminals from laundering their money and re-investing it in further illegal activity.

“Our investigation into these alleged offences continues.”

 11 January 2023