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Manchester student sentenced for transporting over £400,000 cash on trains across UK

21-year-old Yuming Dong was part of a "complex and sophisticated" Chinese Underground Banking Scheme, and found guilty of money laundering.

Emily Sergeant Emily Sergeant - 3rd August 2022

A Manchester student has been found guilty of money laundering after being caught transporting over £400,000 of illegal money on trains across the UK.

21-year-old former engineering student Yuming Dong was part of what British Transport Police (BTP) called a “complex and sophisticated” Chinese Underground Banking Scheme – which operated among students at the University of Manchester – and he often took up the role of a courier, before eventually handing himself in.

On at least two occasions, Dong travelled between London and Manchester to transport over £400,000 of illegal ash to be used as a cash pool.

On one of these occasions on 4 February 2019, Dong texted BTP and claimed there was a suspicious person on board the train who was carrying a large yellow suitcase.

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Officers then boarded the train at Manchester Piccadilly, and found Dong “behaving in an agitated way”.

The student’s behaviour led officers to the discovery of nearly £255,000 of cash in his suitcase and Dong was subsequently arrested on suspicion of money laundering, with all of the the money being seized by BTP.

After Dong handed himself in, a search of his address uncovered a diary with mention of money laundering, as well as used train tickets from previous visits to London to collect cash, and further enquiries conducted on the number he used to text BTP proved the extent of his involvement in the criminal conspiracy.

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Dong was found guilty of money laundering at Manchester Crown Court on Thursday 28 July, and a judge sentenced him to 18 months imprisonment, suspended for two years.

Yuming Dong was caught with £250,000 in cash inside a suitcase at Manchester Piccadilly / Credit: Network Rail Media

“This was a complex and painstaking investigation which uncovered a sophisticated criminal operation involving large scale money laundering and deception,” explained Detective Inspector Granville Sellers – from BTP’s Major Serious and Organised Crime team.

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“The sum of money involved is simply staggering, but it’s very satisfying to know that over £250,000 of this will now be used as police funds – allowing us further investment in keeping the travelling public safe.

“Money laundering is not a victimless crime, the cash involved often originates from criminal activity such as drug dealing and exploitation.

“We will always take these reports seriously and work tirelessly to bring offenders before the courts.”

Featured Image – BTP