Man jailed after trying to smuggle £1.4m from Heathrow – in his socks

Zdenek Kamaryt caught trying to board Dubai flight in November last year

Zdenek Kamaryt tried to leave Heathrow with suitcases and socks stuffed full of cash. NCA
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A man posing as a currency trader was jailed after trying to smuggle £1.4 million ($1.9m) in cash in suitcases and socks from the UK to Dubai.

Zdenek Kamaryt, 38, stuffed bundles of £50 notes into his socks and hid the bulk of the money in three suitcases and a holdall.

He was caught at London's Heathrow Airport as he tried to board a flight to Dubai.

The UK's National Crime Agency described it as a brazen attempt to launder money.

“This was a pretty brazen attempt to take money out of the country – Kamaryt’s suitcases contained very little else other than wads of cash," said Ian Truby, NCA's Heathrow operations manager.

"I've no doubt he knew this money was the profits of crime and would have ended up being reinvested in further criminal activity. He didn't care about the impact.
"Cash is the lifeblood of organised crime. Working with partners like Border Force we are determined to do all we can to disrupt that flow of illicit finance and target the money launderers involved."

Kamaryt, originally from the Czech Republic, tried to board a flight to Dubai on November 8 last year.

He checked in three suitcases for the flight – each was stuffed full of vacuum-packed packages of cash totalling more than £1.3 million.
Another £50,000 was found in his carry-on hand luggage, including bundles of £50 notes stuffed inside his socks.
He initially told Border Force officers he was a currency trader and intended to use the money to buy watches.

In interviews with the NCA [Kamryt] refused to say who had given him the money, or where he had planned to take it

Investigators discovered he had bought the vacuum packaging at a high street hardware shop days before the scheduled travel.

The credit card used to buy the bags was in his possession at the time of his arrest.
They also found documents detailing how much money was in each bag.
In interviews with the NCA he refused to say who had given him the money, or where he had planned to take it.
He pleaded guilty to money-laundering offences at Isleworth Crown Court and was sentenced to two years and two months' imprisonment.

The money was seized under the Proceeds of Crime Act.
A 26-year-old woman arrested at Heathrow at the same time as Kamaryt was later released without further action.

A month before Kamaryt was caught, British woman Tara Hanlon was stopped at Heathrow, allegedly attempting to smuggle £2 million in five suitcases to Dubai.

Ms Hanlon, 30, was charged with money laundering and is scheduled to stand trial in the UK later this year.