Jo-Emma Larvin, a former glamour model, has been accused of smuggling £5 million cash from the UK to Dubai. She is alleged to have hidden the money in luggage before flying out from London Heathrow on two occasions.
Her partner, Jonathan Johnson, is also accused of travelling with her on the second occasion. The couple carried £2.8 million in September 2020 across eight cases, using ordinary holiday items to disguise the cash.
A month prior, Larvin and co-accused Amy Harrison were also claimed to have smuggled an estimated £2.2 million across seven cases.
Larvin and Johnson were arrested in March 2021 but both deny removing criminal property from the UK along with three co-accused. Harrison, Beatrice Auty, and Liam Rabone are among the co-accused.
The court heard that members of the smuggling ring would fly business class so that more luggage could be taken with them.
Abdulla Alfalasi, the organiser, arranged 83 successful trips over 18 months. The defendants were involved in 16, and two more were unsuccessful. The total amount of cash removed in those 83 occasions is estimated to be around £100 million.
Anything over Euro 10,000 leaving the EU has to be declared to HMRC. The smugglers’ suitcases would typically contain up to £500,000.
The defendants would declare the cash once arriving in Dubai, handing over a letter authorising them to carry it from a company called Omnivest, owned by Alfalasi.
Sometimes authorities would check the amount and give them a currency declaration form. The couriers would then have a few days in Dubai before flying back with lighter cases, so they could be used again.
Their expenses were paid for, their hotel accommodation, and they were paid around £3,000 each for the trip. The trial continues.»Former glamour model helps smuggle suitcases loaded with £5million cash from UK to Dubai«