Monday, May 17, 2021

Soccer player Nathan Blockley used as a mule in money laundering operation

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A FORMER Scots footballer was a “mule” in a cross-border money-laundering operation to fund his cocaine addiction.

Nathan Blockley, 28, was snared by cops withdrawing £6,500 of fraudulent funds on November 27, 2018.

The ex-Airdrie and Peterhead midfielder – who was once red-carded for a tackle on former Rangers star Joey Barton – had been under police surveillance in ‘Operation Influence’.

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The probe involved people known as “mules” using their bank accounts to store dirty money by a third party.

The “mule” would then withdraw the money, buy goods and keep some of the cash for themselves.

Blockley pleaded guilty at Glasgow Sheriff Court to acquiring or possessing criminal property.

He also admitted withdrawing the cash from his bank account which contained criminal property.

Prosecutor Tanjeel Maleque said: “A transaction took place on November 27, 2018, in which the sum of £6,500 was passed into the bank account (of Blockley).

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“Police intelligence found this was fraudulently obtained from North Yorkshire.”

Blockley was arrested later that day by police.

Paul Sutherland, defending, told the court the crime came as a result of Blockley’s addiction to cocaine.

The lawyer added: “His background report explains his position he finds himself in which is the catalyst for the offending.

“He knows without people such as himself organised crime and drug dealing cannot function.”

Sheriff Jonathan Guy tagged Blockley for 81 days, keeping him indoors between 7pm and 7am.

On Thursdays and Sundays, the order changes from 10pm to 7am due to Blockley attending drug counselling.

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