THREE men have become the first in Scotland to be convicted of a major money laundering scam known as ‘cuckoo smurfing”.
Shop-keeper Muhammed Hameed roped in his uncle Saleem Shikari and worker Shahid Aslam to hide almost £700,000 of ill-gotten gains belonging to Scots gangsters.
The sophisticated scheme the trio were part of involves crime gangs replacing legitimate sums of cash – intended for transfer overseas – with “dirty” money. They were snared as part of Operation Confab – a huge probe set-up to catch Hameed and his criminal associates.
When police swooped in 2013, the three were caught red-handed with a plastic bag stuffed with £75,000 of banknotes at Hameed’s flat in Dundee.