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Chester man with euros in suitcase found guilty of money laundering

Published date: 21 May 2014 |
Published by: Staff reporter
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A CHESTER man caught with more than 7,000 euros in a suitcase while driving in Cornwall has been found guilty of money laundering.

Wesley Watton, 32, of Dawpool Court, Upton, went on trial accused of four counts of laundering money, which he allegedly made selling drugs in the Spanish resort of Magaluf.

A jury at Truro Crown Court heard police stopped Watton as he travelled westbound on the A30 near Bodmin, in Cornwall, on May 23, 2012.

They searched the BMW he had been travelling in as a passenger and found 7,350 euros in a black suitcase.

Jason Beal, prosecuting, said an examination of Watton’s mobile phone revealed text messages, referring to selling items in Majorca and money Watton had made working there.

The jury heard money had also been paid into Watton’s account by people who were known to the police.

Mr Beal said: “The inference you are drawn towards is that the cash Mr Watton receives in Spain – the cash that he pays into his account and the cash that is in the back of the car when it is stopped on May 23 – is cash from criminal conduct.”

Watton denied the charges, claiming he had earned the cash working as a doorman in Magaluf and selling wristbands to tourists for entry into nightclubs.

On Friday, the jury found him guilty of two counts of removing criminal property from England and Wales in two Western Union transfers on May 1 and 30, 2012, totalling more than 3,000 euros.

He was also found guilty of converting criminal property between April 20 and October 1, 2012 and of being in possession of criminal property on May 23 that year.
Watton was granted conditional bail.

His case was adjourned to June 20 for the preparation of a pre-sentence report.

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