British woman jailed £5 million Dubai smuggling plot
Recruitment manager Tara Hanlon, 30, was apprehended on 3 October at London's Heathrow Airport with five suitcases containing £1.9 million (~$2.6m) vacuum-packed and covered in powdered coffee, Isleworth crown court heard.
Officials described the haul as 2020's largest individual cash seizure at the UK border.
Hanlon initially told security officers that she had taken the five suitcases as she "wasn’t sure what to wear", and later denied knowledge of the cash once it was discovered. Phone records later revealed that she had already smuggled £3.5 million (~$4.8m) in three trips to Dubai.
Prosecutor Nathan Rasiah said Hanlon, who was furloughed from her job at the time, was paid £3,000 ($4,135) per trip.
"There's clearly an element of greed here" Judge Karen Holt said.
"You were motivated by personal gain, and it was criminal conduct over a sustained period, when it was a very difficult time and very few were travelling. But you were."
Stephen Grattage, defending, said Hanlon's furlough and loss of her mother in March made her vulnerable at the time of her recruitment into the scheme.