Bureau boss 'laundered drugs cash'

By Rob Virtue on October 10, 2012 10:01 AM |

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The owner of a bureau de change has been accused of laundering millions of pounds of drugs money.

Binita Karnavat, 31, of Medland House in Limehouse, is on trial at Southwark Crown Court over the charges relating to BK Forex Money Exchange in Shaftesbury Avenue.

Police investigated after two people were arrested for drugs crimes as they left her kiosk with $70,000 last year. The duo later admitted to the charges.

On Tuesday, the court heard records showed around £9.2million of foreign money was purchased from currency wholesalers by Karnavat's business in the year up to April 2011.

Prosecuting counsel Alexandra Felix said: "£8.5million was concealed through the business. The only reasonable explanation was Miss Karnavat knew, or suspected, BK Forex Money Exchange was being used to launder money.

"The legitimate trading of a small kiosk reliant upon passing trade and tourism wouldn't allow for such a high turnover."

Karnavat's partner Manish Patel previously pleaded guilty to money laundering through the business.

Karnavat denies the charges and the case continues.