A woman who acted as personal assistant to her partner’s organised crime group as it smuggled drugs into Britain has been convicted of conspiracy to import drugs and money laundering offences following an investigation by the National Crime Agency.
Anni Rowland, 54, of King George’s Field, Stow-on-the-Wold, counted Kevin Hanley’s money, paid his rent and arranged travel and accommodation for him and his associates as he toured Europe negotiating deals to import illegal drugs.
Rowland (pictured) was found guilty of conspiracy to supply cocaine, amphetamine and cannabis at the Old Bailey today (October 5), as well as a count of money laundering relating to £2m found at a flat of Hanley’s in Chelsea.
Hanley, 54, who posed as an importer of fruit and vegetables, went on the run for eight months in 2012 before he being caught in Greece the following year by NCA officers. He was sentenced to 17 years in prison in October 2014 after admitting conspiracy to supply the drugs.
During their investigation into Hanley, NCA officers found Rowland’s fingerprints on the money at the Chelsea flat.
Her emails revealed she had booked flights to Spain and the Netherlands for Hanley and other members of his group, while her car was seen near places at which he did business.
Documents found at various locations were inked with Rowland’s distinctive choice of punctuation marks, ?*!, indicating that she had an active role in planning the group’s operations.
Tony Luhman, Operations Manager at the NCA, said: “Rowland helped smooth Hanley’s criminal operations by sorting out practicalities while he smuggled Class A drugs into the country from Europe. By counting his money and arranging his travel, she left her hands as dirty as his.
“We remain vigilant to the threat of criminals using apparently legitimate businesses as cover for their profits. If undetected, the money passes through criminal networks and can end up funding everything from people trafficking to cyber crime. We can have a huge impact by taking it out of play.”
Rowland’s conviction comes after a previous sentence for conspiring to import cocaine with Hanley.
Hanley was sentenced to 15 years in 2001 for conspiring to smuggle the drugs into the country from America while Roland was sentenced to 42 months later for her role in the operation.