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5 March 2015, 07:42 | Updated: 5 March 2015, 07:46
A Luton man has been convicted of laundering nearly £1million.
Akram Ul-Haq, 37, of Emerald Road, was convicted of several counts of money laundering and laundered £1.3 million of money from a firm of solicitors.
He was also convicted of conspiracy to commit fraud, alongside Nighat Sultana, 35, also of Emerald Road. The two stole £176,000 from a Chinese company, and £98,000 from an Israeli company.
The offences began in September 2011. Victims from China and Israel travelled to Luton in 2012 to report their crimes, and following extensive investigations by Bedfordshire Police, the two were arrested on 24 September 2012.
Investigation Officer Gary Hales said: "The duo carried out a number of offences, taking a great deal of time and effort to deceive the victims out of large numbers of money.
Our commitment to protecting people and fighting crime was shown during this complex investigation, which took more than two years, and we're pleased that justice has been done.
"Using the Proceeds of Crime Act (POCA) 2002, we are confident that we will now be able to recoup the victims' losses and this is an important message to anyone who is tempted to try a similar crime: you will be caught, you will be punished, and we will retrieve the money."
Ul-Haq and Sultana were sentenced at Luton Crown Court on Thursday (26 February) with Ul-Haq receiving five years of immediate imprisonment, and Sultana receiving a nine month community order along with a supervision requirement and a curfew.