Kim Kardashian wannabe, 30, jailed for £5m money smuggling after she was caught with cash-loaded suitcases at Heathrow

A KIM Kardashian wannabe, 30, is in jail after being caught smuggling £5million of cash-loaded suitcases through Heathrow airport.

Tara Hanlon was handed a two year and 10 month prison sentence for her involvement in what was dubbed at the time as the biggest cash haul of 2020.

Border Force officers discovered the vacuum-packed wads of cash covered in coffee in Tara's luggage while she was trying to board a flight to Dubai in October.

The Kardashian lookalike was found with £1.94m in five separate suitcases.

Tara has already admitted to smuggling millions of pounds out of the country during July and August last year.

The young Brit, who was furloughed from her job as a recruiter in March 2020, earned £3,000 for each trip she made, Isleworth Crown Court heard.

She was acting on orders from a woman called "Michelle Clerk", who she met four years earlier in Leeds, but lived in Dubai.

Michelle told her to set up a company for her hairdressing work so an accountant could "clean her money up," the court heard.

Messages found on Tara's phone showed she was discussing recruiting a man called Liam to the scheme with Michelle.

The young Brit said: "I'm thinking Liam will definitely be up for it.

"Everyone else I know has kids or has a big mouth. He wouldn't want to miss out on that much money."

Hanlon bragged in one message "3 big ones…with this wage and the next my debts go bye".

Other messages indicated she was looking to recruit other couriers, referring to the job as a "perfect life a few days in the sun and a few at home".

At one point, she sent a friend footage of her boasting about how much money she had spent during a glitzy foreign holiday.

Detailing her arrest on 3 October, prosecutor Nathan Resiah said: "She was stopped by a customs official who spoke to her.

"She said it was a girls' trip and she had 5 bags because she couldn't decide what to wear.

"She was asked if she had any cash, and said: 'No, none.'

"Her luggage contained large sums of cash which was covered in coffee powder."

Judge Karen Holt told Tara: "It is not difficult, if you have got suitcases full of money, you're not packing anything, and being flown over to Dubai, to realise what is going on.

"When stopped, by customs officials, you said you didn't have any cash.

"That was the start of a number of lies, and clearly the officer didn't accept what you said.

"You made a very detailed statement after your arrest, although much of it wasn't true."

The 30-year-old from Middleton, Leeds, admitted one count of conspiring to remove criminal property, three counts of removing criminal property and one of attempting to remove criminal property.

Investigators at the National Crime Agency had said at the time the cash haul was "the largest such detection at the border so far in 2020".

NCA senior investigating officer Ian Truby said: "Hanlon smuggled more than £3.5 million criminal cash out of the UK and was caught red handed with another £2 million. This money undoubtedly came from organised crime.

"Tara Hanlon thought that she was going to be living a jet-set lifestyle, instead she is now serving a prison sentence.

"I hope her story is a cautionary one for others who would consider doing the same."

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