Brent brothel madam ordered to pay back £1.3million

Li Ying has been ordered to pay back £1.3million

Li Ying has been ordered to pay back £1.3million - Credit: Archant

Li Ying, from West Hampstead, ran bordellos across London and the Home Counties

A brothel madam who ran a string of bordellos across London and the Home Counties including premises in Brent has been ordered to pay back £1.3million.

Li Ying, from West Hampstead, made £1,338,891 from running brothels in the borough and others in Camden, Wandsworth, Barnet, Harrow, Ealing and in the counties of Hertfordshire and Buckinghamshire over six years.

The 47-year-old was jailed in July 2011 after being convicted of controlling prostitution, concealing criminal property and three counts of money laundering at Southwark Crown Court.

She was sentenced to nine-and-a-half years but as some of the sentences were to run concurrently, it totalled five years.

Last week, at a confiscation hearing held at Southwark Crown Court, Ying was told she must pay back ever penny she made from her business within six months or face a further five years in jail.

The order is a culmination of an investigation into Ying launched as part of Operation Rize which targeted depositories suspected of being used to store cash made from the proceeds of crime.

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When officers raided the Hampstead Safe Depository in Finchley they found £150,000 cash in a safe deposit box held by Ying.

She was arrested and further investigations uncovered a network of 12 brothels run by her.

Investigating Officer DC Richard Johnson, of the Specialist and Economic Crime Command, said: “Ying attempted to hide the money she made from running brothels using numerous aliases and bank accounts, and by desperately trying to move the money out of the country when she knew police were on to her.

“Clearly Ying did not figure on us carrying out the extensive and protracted analysis of her bank accounts that we did, in order to identify the extent of her financial benefit from her crime.

“This should serve as a lesson to all other criminals who think they can hide their ill-gotten gains from the Met.”