Illegal immigrant had 152,000 euros hidden in car when stopped by motorway cops

Crown Court

Crown Court

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An illegal immigrant from Ampthill found in a car on the M1 with 152,000 euros hidden inside the vehicle has been jailed for 21 months.

The haul, worth around £120,000 was hidden in the rear of the car.

Albanian Fatjon Shehu, 28, who was living in Park Street, Ampthill, at the time, appeared at St Albans Crown Court on Friday, January 2, pleading guilty to a single offence of concealing criminal property.

Daniel Siong, prosecuting, told the court how on June 4 at around 6pm police in a marked patrol car stopped a Saab motor car travelling south along the M1 close to junction 9.

The defendant was in the car and officers noticed he was extremely nervous.

The prosecutor said Shehu gave a false name and was taken to St Albans police station.

So too was the car, said Mr Siong, who told the court that a closer search of the car found two packages hidden behind a seat.

At first officers thought it must be drugs, but on closer inspection it was discovered the packages contained bundles of euros.

The court was told his home address in Ampthill was searched but nothing could be found explaining his link to the cash.

Shehu himself told police he had been acting as a courier role for the cash and expected to earn £200.

The court heard he had no previous convictions either here in the uk or in his native Albania.

Judge Andrew Bright QC, hearing the case, was told that the defendant had previously been deported from this country but had returned illegally.

Passing sentence the judge told Shehu he got involved in an operation to smuggle money for “illicit purposes”.

He told him it was a serious offence and jailed him for 21 months.