Police have recovered more than £5m from three fake companies that offered live-streamed exotic dancers as a guise to launder cash.
The Manchester-based firms laundered more than $60m (£44m) over 12 months through fake pay-per-view adult entertainment websites.
A judge agreed they should forfeit £5.8m, which is the largest amount ever recovered by Greater Manchester Police.
It will fund community projects and tackle organised crime, police said.
The force’s economic crime unit discovered the websites were not providing the services advertised and were using a third-party payment process to launder the money through a “sophisticated and highly organised network”, they said.
But after reviewing the websites, the payment platform stopped the companies from using its service in January 2020.
The German bank accounts that had been storing the funds were frozen and then put under investigation.
A judge gave the go-ahead for the force to recover the £5.8m under the Proceeds of Crime Act at Manchester Magistrates’ Court in November.
The company directors had 30 days to appeal but no-one came forward.
January 13, 2021, published on the BBC News