£500,000 in cash discovered after police stop van on the M6 near Rugby

The cash discovered in the van
The cash discovered in the van

Almost £500,000 in cash was discovered in the back of a van pulled over by police near Rugby

Traffic officers had stopped the vehicle on the M6 near Junction 1 for Rugby.

The money discovered by police

The money discovered by police

The driver was found with a haul of nearly half a million pounds in notes stuffed inside a black holdall bag neatly stacked and wrapped in elastic bands.

West Midlands Police said the discovery was made as a result of a joint investigation with the National Crime Agency (NCA).

The cash was seized under the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002, and the driver of the van was arrested on suspicion of money laundering offences. He was later released under investigation.

A subsequent search of the driver’s home address in Epping Forest by NCA officers found a further stash of banknotes, thought to be in the region of £100,000. This was also seized.

Investigations, led by West Midlands Police, continue.

NCA Deputy Director Chris Farrimond said: “Money is the lifeblood of organised crime and we will do all we can to disrupt the flow of illicit wealth wherever we can.

“These were substantial seizures, and I’ve no doubt that the money would have been re-invested in further criminality.

“Working with West Midlands Police we have successfully disrupted the activity of an organised crime group specialising in cash-based money laundering.”

Sergeant Helen Ainsworth, from the Economic Crime Unit at West Midlands Police, added: "This is a significant amount of cash and a thorough investigation has commenced.

“If we discover it has been obtained through criminality, we will be pursuing full forfeiture of the amount through the Proceeds of Crime Act (POCA), which means that we will be able to use the cash for deserving community led initiatives.”