In news that’s sure to do wonders for the reputation of the white van man, a plasterer has been handed 18 months in prison after police discovered £300,000 of drug money hidden in B&M shopping bags in a secret compartment of his van.
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As per Metro, Callum Gough, 24, was pulled over by police driving east on the A50 near Lockington in Derbyshire.
When the vehicle was dismantled, police discovered a specially fitted ‘concealment’ unit beneath the floor in the back of the van, which contained within it seven shopping bags. Those bags were filled with £299,810 in English and Scottish banknotes. That’s a lot of cash!
How did the police know there was something dodgy about Callum and his van? Well, Liverpool Crown Court heard that the arrest was part of a HM Revenue And Customs (HMRC) investigation, so either someone in Callum’s crew got sloppy, or someone got talking.
Ken Grant, prosecuting, said the bags were packed with £20 notes, ‘bundled in £5,000 bricks’, and Callum’s fingerprints were on some of the bags.
Callum gave a ‘no comment’ police interview, though he later pleaded guilty to possessing criminal property on the basis he was aware of the concealment and was involved in packing the van with the cash.
Callum, who had no previous convictions, said he had built up a debt from smoking cannabis and had agreed in order to pay it off that his van would be used to store the cash and transport it to an address provided by others.
The court also heard he had been a registered carer for his grandmother, who had been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease at 65, and he looked after both her and his mum, who had health difficulties and depression.
Sentencing him to 18 months, Judge David Swinnerton said:
Clearly you were trusted by those that asked you to put the money in the van because they trusted you with £300,000, give or take a very small amount.
You knew full well what you were getting yourself into, because this wasn’t just a rucksack of money in the boot, this was specially adapting your van, and you knew because you helped pack it that this was a very large amount of money.
The report also states that Callum refused to name anyone else involved in the operation, so at least he’s kept his street cred in tact. Although given what’s happened now, I wonder if he would have disappeared with the £300,000 given the chance to do it again? I mean you could easily survive on £300,000 for about 15 years, right? Although I guess he’d be pretty screwed once it ran out. Not to mention his creditors would have probably gone after his mum and nan in his absence.
So let this be a lesson to drug dealers and dishonest business owners out there. Be careful with your money and above all – pay tax. Because from the looks of it, HMRC are watching. On that note – what happens to the confiscated £300,000? Anyone know? Eh, I’m sure the feds will put it to good use.
To watch a white van man take out a Prius with a flawless pit maneuver for going too slow on the motorway, click HERE. Nicely done!