A TRIO responsible for laundering more than £3.5million of criminals' profits have been jailed for more than 11 years.

When tax investigators swooped on an office unit in Burnley, Akmal Begum, 40, and Javed Ahmad, 44, were found stuffing more than £100,000 into a filing cabinet, the town's crown court was told.

Hundreds of completed banking deposit slips were found by HMRC officials, who also later detained a third gang member, taxi driver Syed Sajjad.

The paperwork showed the trio had been responsible, between them, they had salted away more than £3.5million in banks across Blackburn, Accrington, Burnley, Nelson, Preston, Bolton and Leyland.

CCTV caught them making 821 cash deposits between May and November 2015, the court heard.

In one single day, they made 33 different deposit in banks, totalling more than £95,000, according to tax bosses.

Richard Wilkinson, assistant director for HMRC's fraud investigation service, said: "This was money laundering on an industrial scale.

"These men were like couriers, zig-zagging across Lancashire making dozens of deposits in a matter of hours, and it was their own paying-in slips that helped prove the true scale of this criminal enterprise.

"Money laundering helps organised crime gangs and we will not hesitate to prosecute those involved. I would urge anyone with information on this type of fraud to contact the fraud hotline on 0800 788 887."

Ahmad, of New Hall Street, Burnley, was found guilty on three charges of money laundering, was jailed for five-and-a-half years.

Syed, of Radcliffe Road, Bolton, was found guilty on two money laundering offences, and was jailed for 30 months.

Begum, of Mosley Street, Nelson, was also found guilty on two money laundering charges and was jailed for three years and nine months.