A MAN has been jailed after trying to disguise tens of thousands of pounds... as sandwiches. 

Essex Police seized a whopping £70,000 of cash back in July after finding a bag filled with a haul of silver foil packets in Harwich.

Officers from the Rural Engagement Team had been conducting routine checks when they were alerted to a lorry driving the wrong way in what appeared to be an attempt to avoid detection.

After finding the packets in the cab of the vehicle, disguised as "sandwiches", the force arrested Mariusz Raczynski, 28, on suspicion of money laundering.

Officers then worked closely with the Proactive Money Laundering Team of the Serious Crime Directorate in order to secure a charge.

On September 8 Raczynski was jailed for 20 weeks for concealing criminal property during a hearing at Chelmsford Crown Court, where he pleaded guilty. 

Harwich and Manningtree Standard:

Sergeant Paul Brady, said: “Here in the Rural Engagement Team, we focus mainly on crimes that affect our rural communities, but we won’t turn a blind eye to other crimes.

“Policing is about being in the right place at the right time and to take effective action that will bring perpetrators to justice and keep everyone safe.”

Detective Constable Megan Tighe, who led the investigation, has now praised the team behind the bust.

He added: “In this case, our Rural Engagement Team colleagues were very proactive and alert to what was happening, meaning an arrest was quickly made.

“As the PMLT, we’ve worked hard to build the case and prove that the seized cash could only have come from crime.

“In just two months, that collaboration and our hard work throughout the investigation has resulted in a conviction." 

The jailing of Raczynski comes after a man dangerously set fire to curtains and a carpet in the communal hallways of a block of flats in Harwich, risking the lives of the residents.

Edward Teagle, 34, had attended a party on the third floor of the building, which housed a set of multi-occupancy flats, in March this year.

He then went down to the second floor, where he used a lighter to set several curtains and the carpet in the communal hallway alight.

Appearing at Chelmsford Crown Court on August 24, Teagle was sentenced to two years and six months imprisonment.