More than £5 million in “dirty cash” was found hidden under beds and cupboards in a money launderer’s flat.
The find by the Metropolitan police was the largest single cash seizure by the force.
It was piled high at the flat in Fulham, south west London, because the gang didn’t know to do with the vast sum.
The moment accumulated because lockdown restrictions prevented it being moved out of the UK.
The haul was found when suspect Ruslan Shamsutdinov, 36, struggled to lift bags into his car parked out the flat.
They cash was linked to Sergejs Auzins, 46, a Russian middleman working for gun and drugs syndicates across London.
Officers raided the premises and recovered £5,082,000 harboured by at least ten gangs, Harrow Crown Court was told.
Detective Superintendent Jason Prins said his team accidentally stumbled across the Fulham flat as they were investigating firearms and drugs.
He said: “This is the largest ever single cash seizure by the Met and I believe one of the largest ever nationally.
“In the flat, there was money everywhere you went — under the beds, in cupboards and on the floor.
“They couldn’t even hide it.
“It was a money laundering hub for a number of crime groups.”
More money was found at Shamsutdinov’s home in Hackney.
Detectives later saw Serwan Ahmadi, 35, handing over a bag to a suspect in north London.
Hours later he was arrested in Edmonton, along with £59,980.
A search of his home uncovered another £198,600.
Further arrests followed and more money was recovered – bringing the total to £5.4 million
Det Supt Prins added:
“Covid had really exacerbated their problem of how to get rid of money.”
Three men pleaded guilty last year to conspiracy to conceal and disguise criminal property.
They will be sentenced on Friday.
Even now the police cannot find who owns the £900,000 in Fulham.
Det Supt Prins said:
“We still haven’t established who actually owns it.
“Organised crime is motivated by money and is one of the biggest causes of violence on our streets.
“Tackling this violence is our main priority.”
The seized money will go towards the police fighting crime