London: An Indian-origin government employee
in UK was on Tuesday jailed for three years and nine months for her
key role in a sophisticated multi-million pounds property
fraud and money laundering scam.
Official sources said Surjeet Chana, 64, who worked at
Land Registry, was corrupted by the gang comprising seven
people who, together, were jailed at the Southward Crown Court
for a total of 24 and a half years following an investigation
by Scotland Yard.
The gang was initially targeted by the police for
large-scale supply of cocaine.
But further investigation revealed that they were
involved in a highly organised and high value fraud, the
Police investigation revealed that the large quantities
of cocaine dealt by the gang were used to finance various
fraudulent property deals, laundering millions of pounds worth
of criminal cash.
As part of their modus operandi, the gang would identify
a property whose owner was deceased or in a nursing home, or a
They would board it up, leaving a sign outside bearing a
mobile telephone for a security company.
Once satisfied that there had been no enquiries from
genuine owners they progressed to obtaining copies of the
signatures on the original title deeds, the source said.
Chana, who worked in the Land Registry, provided the
conspirators with access to documents and in particular the
signatures which they needed to sell the properties.
A total of 38,000 pounds cash was recovered from her loft
Other gang members carried out other tasks as part of the
scam that involved nine properties, most of were sold by the
fraudsters, although on occasion the sale had to be aborted
because of practical difficulties.
The known value of the property fraud is 3,800,000
pounds, the police said.