Mum must pay back £33,000 in laundering case

A mum-of-two spared jail for laundering criminal proceeds through her bank accounts has been told she must repay just over £33,000 under the terms of a confiscation order.

Van Thanh Ngo, 37, of Parkinson Lane, Halifax, appeared before Judge John Potter at Bradford Crown Court five months after she was given a 52-week prison sentence, suspended for two years.

The court heard in May how “naive” Ngo lied on a mortgage application for a house in Savile Park Road and also admitted acquiring criminal property after allowing £136,700 to be deposited into her accounts.

The prosecution submitted that the deposits had some features of being drugs money, but Ngo’s barrister Robert Elias said because the money was deposited from a number of different places around the country and in irregular patterns it was more likely to have come from loan-sharking, people trafficking or prostitution.

Ngo said she had no idea her accounts were being used to launder money or that the house had been used as a cannabis farm by her lodger.

Mr Elias told the court in May that Ngo had been used and spat out by her partner.

“She realises she faces near financial ruin and the loss of her house because of this,” said Mr Elias.

At a hearing in July, Judge Potter made a confiscation order against Ngo under the Proceeds of Crime Act legislation, but yesterday the order was amended, reducing the amount that Ngo will have to pay by almost £2000.

Ngo could be jailed if she fails to pay the £33,514.31.