A CRIMINAL cash courier who was caught after leaving a bag containing £10,000 on a train at Carlisle railway station has been given an 11-month prison sentence.
Weijie Shi, a 25-year-old living in the UK illegally, was seen to suddenly get off a Glasgow to Manchester southbound service after it had pulled into the Cumbrian city on November 20 last year.
After the unattended bag and a phone he’d left on board was spotted, passengers saw him on the platform and tried, unsuccessfully, to attract his attention. After the train pulled away, Shi informed a staff member he’d been separated from his belongings, before boarding a train back to Glasgow.
In the meantime the bag was found and, when a conductor opened it to check for identification, he found what transpired to be £10,000 cash inside.
Shi, of no fixed address, was traced from CCTV footage and initially gave a fake name which matched a false passport in his possession. He later admitted charges of having an ID document with improper intention, and possessing criminal property.
At Carlisle Crown Court today (FRI), Judge Nicholas Barker noted Shi has been a “courier of cash” working for others; and that he was in the country illegally and had not lodged a bid for asylum because he was awaiting the outcome of his case.
Imposing an immediate jail term, the judge said: “You are not of settled status. You have no previous convictions recorded against you in this country.
“Those who possess false identity documents in this country can expect a custodial sentence.”
But after learning Shi – assisted in the court dock by a Mandarin interpreter – had spent six months in custody on remand, Judge Barker added: “It seems likely from what I have been told that your release will either be today or very soon.”