Yuming Dong, 21, couriered more than £400,000 of illicit cash from London to Manchester
A student who reported himself to police as a suspicious train passenger while carrying more than £250,000 in a suitcase has been sentenced.
Yuming Dong, 21, was part of a “complex” illegal banking scheme used by University of Manchester students, British Transport Police (BTP) said.
Dong was caught in 2019 after texting BTP to report his own behaviour on a train at Manchester Piccadilly.
He was given an 18-month suspended jail sentence at Manchester Crown Court.
There will be a Proceeds of Crime hearing on 22 November.
BTP said Dong, who was found guilty of money laundering at an earlier hearing, had been operating as a courier for the illegal scheme.
A force spokesman said Dong had made at least two trips between London and Manchester to transport more than £400,000 of “illicit cash to be used as a cash pool”.
He said the former engineering student had texted BTP’s non-emergency number, which allows people to “directly and discreetly” report crime, on 4 February 2019, claiming there was a suspicious person on board a train at Manchester Piccadilly carrying a large yellow suitcase.
When officers boarded the train, they found Dong behaving “in an agitated way”, he said.
BTP subsequently found more than £250,000 of cash in the suitcase and Dong was arrested on suspicion of money laundering.
A later search of his home found a diary mentioning money laundering and used train tickets from previous visits to London to collect cash, while analysis of his phone showed the extent of his involvement in the scheme.
The BTP spokesman said an investigation found a second University of Manchester student to be the “banker” in the scheme.
She pleaded guilty to money laundering in March 2021 and was jailed for two years.
Speaking after Dong’s sentencing, Det Insp Granville Sellers said it had been “a complex and painstaking investigation, which uncovered a sophisticated criminal operation involving large scale money laundering and deception”.
He said the amount of money involved was “simply staggering”, but added that it was “very satisfying to know that over £250,000 of this will now be used as police funds, allowing us further investment in keeping the travelling public safe”.