Two Locals Face Trial in Dubai Cash Courier Case

Beatrice Auty and Liam Rabone accused of transporting suitcases full of money

Former glamour model Jo-Emma Larvin also acted as a courier
Former glamour model Jo-Emma Larvin also acted as a courier. Picture: Facebook

March 7, 2023

Two local people are currently on trial accused of being part of a criminal gang that was illegally transporting last sums of money to Dubai.

26-year-old Beatrice Auty, of Stephendale Road in Fulham and 29-year-old Liam Rabone of Queen’s Club Gardens allegedly helped launder money along with 44-year-old Jo Emma Larvin, the former girlfriend of boxer Joe Calzaghe, 55-year-old Jonathan Johnson and 27-year-old Amy Harrison. They all deny the charges against them.

Isleworth Crown Court has heard the prosecution say that the trips, which transported million of pounds, were arranged through a WhatsApp group called 'Sunshine and Lollypops'.

Couriers were paid £3,000 to carry large sums of banknotes with their expenses covered including business class flights.

Beatrice Auty was recruited as a courier by Michelle Clarke in 2020 and paid to fly from Heathrow to Dubai with wads of cash stuffed into a suitcase.

She was encouraged to participate by Tara Hanlon, who has already admitted to money laundering offences, and was then admitted to the WhatsApp group to allow arrangements to be made.

Liam Rabone was also recruited by Tara Hanlon who was already personally known to him. The court saw a video which she sent to Liam Rabone showing the hotel room that she was staying in during one of the trips.

He sent messages back expressing concern at the amount of cash he was being asked to carry saying that moving a six figure amount was ‘literally illegal’. However, he subsequently agreed to make the trip ultimately travelling to the Middle East three times.

The gang encouraged its couriers to get burner phones to communicate with the group.

Ms Auty was arrested by officers from the National Crime Agency after her third trip. The prosecution says that videos found on her phone show her unpacking the cash in her hotel room. She is also accused of helping pack suitcases for eleven other trips and accompanying couriers to the airport.

Former glamour model Jo-Emma Larvin of Ripon in North Yorkshire was also a courier. The prosecution told the court that she travelled to Dubai with Amy Harrison bringing seven suitcases with a total of £2.2 million hidden inside. She then made a second trip with her partner, Jonathan Johnson this time bringing £2.8 million in eight cases.

The law requires that any cash totalling more than 10,000 Euros leaving the country must be declared to HMRC but the couriers regularly carried more than £500,000.

The network is believed to have been organised by 47-year-old Abdulla Alfalasi who set up over 80 trips with it estimated that around £100 million was taken out of the country while the gang was operating. On arrival in Dubai the cash would be declared to the local authorities handing over a letter from a company called Omnivest which was owned by Mr Alfalasi.

The accused do not dispute their involvement in the transport of the money but are claiming that they did not know or suspect it could have been from the proceeds of crime.

The trial is expected to continue for another two weeks

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