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.
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.
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.
“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.
“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
Sir David Jason set for TV return in Only Fools and Horses documentary Christmas special
In a surprise bit of festive news, the only and only Sir David Jason is returning for an Only Fools and Horses Christmas special this December. Lovely jubbly!
The best-loved and most-watched British comedy of all time will be back on our screens in documentary form this festive season, with Del Boy himself David Jason revisiting the iconic comedy character after 20 years he last played him on screen.
While the legendary sitcom was broadcast on BBC back in the day, the highly-anticipated Only Fools doc will be airing on Channel 5 right before Christmas as a special one-off programme.
Looking back on the show’s incredible run on UK screens over seven series and the several ‘Christmas Cracker’ specials, specifically, the latest Only Fools and Horses documentary will see Jason and a number of other guests appearing to chat about the legendary show.
While it’s still unclear how many of the original cast will be appearing, Jason’s on-screen wife Tessa Peake-Jones (Raquel) is confirmed to be appearing along with other special guests including newscaster Krishnan Guru-Murthy and Bendiorm‘s Sherrie Hewson.
Sadly, a full theatrical reunion just isn’t on the cards following the deaths of Roger Lloyd Pack (Trigger), Kenneth MacDonald (Mike the Landlord) and Buster Merryfield (Uncle Albert) in the 30 years since the show ended its run.
Only Fools writer John Sullivan also sadly passed away aged 64 in 2011 and fellow co-star Nicholas Lyndhurst, a.k.a. Rodney Trotter, told Metro: “We can’t. John is no longer with us. John was the driving force of the show and we have also lost quite a few cast members now.
“I don’t think I could do it without them and I certainly couldn’t do it without John. At the risk of depressing everyone, I think the last two times I’ve seen David has been at funerals.”
Simply entitled, ‘The Story Of Only Fools And Horses At Christmas’, the 90-minute special is yet to have its broadcast date fully confirmed but you best keep your eyes peeled on the TV guide — we’ll let you know as soon we do.
Jason, 81, has only just recovered from hip surgery earlier this year, so it’ll be nice to see his familiar grin back on our screens.
Right, we’re off to binge a whole series on UK Gold.
Habas restaurant in Manchester announces shock closure – with huge closing-down discount
Habas, the Middle Eastern restaurant launched by the team behind El Gato Negro, has announced its shock closure.
The subterranean restaurant will be going out with a bang though, promising one last knees-up with a big discount.
Habas will be doing 25% off its entire food and drink menu this New Year’s Eve so that fans of the eatery can raise a glass to the Manchester restaurant.
They’re also hoping that Mancs will raise a glass to new beginnings, teasing a brand new concept.
Habas is located at Brown Street in Manchester city centre and has been serving up its Middle Eastern menu since 2021.
It comes from Mills Hill Developments Limited, the company also responsible for El Gato Negro and Canto, fronted by celebrated chef Simon Shaw.
Habas has stressed that its closure ‘is not forever’ as it announces details of its New Year’s Eve closing down party.
You can ring in the new year with a selection of mezze dishes, sharing platters and small plates, feasting on chicken tagine and traditional tzatziki, all 25% off on Sunday 31 December.
Drinks, too, like the cranberry elderflower martini, blackberry ginger smash and clementine daquiri will be with 25% off.
Simon Shaw, Chef Parton at Mills Hill Developments Limited, said: “As of January 2024, we have made the decision to close the doors of Habas Bar & Restaurant, however we are thrilled to announce that our Brown Street venue has an exciting new concept on the way.
“Throughout December, Habas, will continue serving up the city’s best middle-eastern cuisine, so make sure you pop in and see us. AND on New Year’s Eve, Habas, will be hosting an unforgettable celebration with 25% off food and drinks. We want to rejoice with all of our customers, with one final hurrah!
“We would like to thank all of our guests and reassure Habas fans that this is not the end of Habas Bar & Restaurant forever, simply a farewell from Brown Street for now.
“We look forward to welcoming you to our new exciting concept in Q1 of 2024.”