Kenton man admits money laundering after Crossrail killed his business

Rajiv Khurana walked free from court

Rajiv Khurana walked free from court - Credit: PA Wire/Press Association Images

A businessman from Kenton who started working as a courier for a criminal gang after his shop in London’s Oxford Street was swallowed up by the Crossrail project was spared jail.

Rajiv Khurana, 56, of The Ridgeway, was arrested by police after he was observed transporting more than £260,000 of laundered cash around the West End in his Mercedes.

Khurana, a father-of-four with no previous convictions, admitted turning to crime to feed his gambling addiction in the wake of the loss of his business to the new development at 1 Oxford Street.

The Old Bailey heard Khurana was seen carrying around £114,000 on 23 July 2013, £25,000 on 8 August 2013 and nearly £120,000 the following day.

He was arrested on 9 August after being observed delivering the £120,000 to a money service bureau in Oxford Street.

His barrister Brian O’Neill QC said: “The business was hit badly when in 2008 Transport for London issued a compulsory purchase order and they had to vacate the premises within a month.

“They felt bound to accept an offer well below the true market value of their business.

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“He became depressed and became addicted to gambling. He borrowed from associates and eventually from foreign exchange companies.

“It was in order to maintain that loan facility to fund his addiction to gambling he began to be asked to run these errands.’

Khurana admitted three money laundering charges and was sentenced to 18 months imprisonment suspended for two years. He was also ordered to carry out 150 hours unpaid work.

The judge, Mr Recorder Nicholas Valios QC, said: “This offence is wholly out of character.

“You have an exemplary record and I am satisfied you have shown genuine remorse.”

Khurana will have to pay £3,000 towards prosecution costs.