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Dining out on Robbery

Just had the best email from a friend – just made my evening!

You will all have heard/read about the robbery… here is the challenge: how do you put that amount of cash back into the system without being caught?

I propose dinner, 4 March 2006, at our place (or somewhere else if majority prefers it so) and everybody comes prepared with a ‘plan’… only condition is your plan has to ‘reintroduce’ at least £5million in no longer than 5 years… the group will judge who devised the best plan… who’s up for it?


Sadly, we’re already committed to dinner next week and won’t be able to make it (darn) but it has rather got me thinking…

Ordinarily my fantasies to do with large amounts of cash relate to finding a stray, winning rollover ticket, or inheriting from an unknown (but now much loved) Argentinian Aunt, that sort of thing. I don’t normally worry about how to offload or legitimise lots of cash…

Lots of ideas (eg cash-rich, high margin businesses) sprang to mind, but there was the issue of setting up bank accounts, the hassle of pretending to buy £5k of veg each week (where do you dump that amount??). Then I thought of “lifestyle deli” businesses – the sort that pop up, get painted like a Farrow & Ball showroom, have sparse Vitsoe shelving with overpriced goods and then go tits-up in 4 months. These always looked like money-laundering fronts, but it’s actually quite hard to kit out a whole shop for cash without arousing suspicion.

Buying 50million £1 tickets would yield, in all probability a jackpot of £10m if done in one weekend (doh – alarm bells) and that’d seem to be a good recovery percentage. Oh, and if you were later caught you could plead mitigation in sentencing because of the money you’d contributed to “chariddee” via the National Lottery!

Skipping the country with bags of folding notes has to be high on the list – hopefully to a welcoming swiss bank account. I have no idea though how to open a swiss bank account. Any suggestions (with opening deposit, natch) gratefully received.

Whatever I came up with though ultimately founders on traceability to my “real” identity. It’s quite hard to continue to be “me” and launder the cash. Admittedly, were I a dastardly and successful criminal I’d not be too fussed about my “me-ness” (indeed, I’d have many identities) and this is where finally I have to lay my plans… I’d buy up lots of identities from ‘people in pubs’ and use those to create legitimate sources/repositories for cash: savings accounts, post-office accounts, NS&I childrens’ bonds – anything that’ll allow £1-4k at a time to pass though. These can then be accumulated/converted over time.

It’s all very complicated though and – looking over my shoulder as I type – my wife reckons this is a crap idea and ‘just like a bad film’. Ho hum.

What about turning into a grass, pocketing the cash and taking a new identity? 🙂

Seems that I’m not really cut out to be a master criminal…

Any suggestions or inside info, btw, on what the percentage of the gross take that a criminal would keep after fencing? I policeman I once knew reckoned it was 5%-10% of the gross amount stolen. Clearly, fencing/laundering is an involved and complex activity and there will therefore be costs. The comments form is anonymous other than IP address, btw… 🙂