• Sat. Nov 27th, 2021

£745,000 found in a bag for life in Kensington home

Byscarcity news

Oct 27, 2021

Two men have been jailed after being found with almost £750,000 of drug money stashed in supermarket “bags for life”.

A court heard the plastic-wrapped bundles of notes were found in several shopping bags during a police raid at the home of Pero Mitrovic in Kensington, London, where he rented out a room to Milan Kosoric.

Officers also found just over 100g of cocaine and drugs paraphernalia at the property and in a parked car outside.

Prosecutor Tim Hunter told Maidstone Crown Court that the amount of cash found “plainly doesn’t equate” to the small quantity of the class A drug which had been divided into 162 deals.

Both men, who have no previous convictions in the UK or their native country, admitted possessing criminal property in respect of the cash on a “jointly owned” basis.

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Mitrovic, 35, was jailed on October 6 for 22 months and 26-year-old Kosoric, who also pleaded guilty to possessing cocaine with intent to supply, was sentenced to a total of four years and three months’ imprisonment.

The flat in Redcliffe Street was raided on March 2 this year and the cash totalling £745,087 was found in Kosoric’s rear bedroom.

Mr Hunter said: “The cash was bundled up and marked into separate amounts and kept in a variety of robust supermarket shopping ‘bags for life’.”

Police also found six bags containing the vast majority of drug deal bags, a sealing machine and money counter. A further 12 cocaine wraps were found in a VW car.

Craig Rush, defending Kosoric, said he had been entrusted by those further up the chain to act as a “storekeeper” for the drugs and money.

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Tony Wyatt, defending Mitrovic, told the court he knew the money was related to crime but not that it came from drug trafficking. 

He added: “He could and should have put a stop to what was happening and ask his co-defendant to leave the flat.

However, Judge Charles Gratwicke said it “beggared belief” that on seeing the money and paraphernalia he would not have known what was going on.

Passing sentence, he told Mitrovic: “You clearly must have been aware of the criminal activity that was going on, you clearly were permitting that criminal activity to take place, and there is little doubt that there was to be some personal gain.”

Tony Wyatt, defending Mitrovic, told the court he knew the money was related to crime but not that it came from drug trafficking. 

He added: “He could and should have put a stop to what was happening and ask his co-defendant to leave the flat.

However, Judge Charles Gratwicke said it “beggared belief” that on seeing the money and paraphernalia he would not have known what was going on.

Passing sentence, he told Mitrovic: “You clearly must have been aware of the criminal activity that was going on, you clearly were permitting that criminal activity to take place, and there is little doubt that there was to be some personal gain.”

Detective Superintendent Lee Morton of Kent Police who investigated the case, said: “Kosoric and Mitrovic both occupied key roles in an organised criminal network, and whilst both of them may not have directly orchestrated the drug supply chains running into Kent, they had clearly been entrusted to look after and redistribute vast sums of criminal cash.

“Both men have now rightly been jailed and the fact that we have been able to successfully and permanently seize all the money is equally important.

Some of the work we do can take months of painstaking investigation but it is important that people see that we won’t allow criminals to benefit from their illegal activity.

“Any ill-gotten cash will be taken from them and where possible redistributed to our local communities for everyone’s benefit.”

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