Criminals ordered to pay back millions in ill-gotten gains

PUBLISHED: 09:21 17 April 2014

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Criminals across Cambridgeshire have been ordered to pay back more than £2.3million of their ill-gotten gains during the past 12 months.

The force’s Economic Crime Unit has secured 111 confiscation orders totalling £2,171,110, five cash forfeitures worth a total of £106,859 and helped seize a further £26,300 from drug users and dealers.

The orders mean victims of crime are set to benefit from £197,480 through compensation payouts, while the force should receive £449,785 to help its fight against crime.

The previous year’s activities saw £609,330 being paid to victims since April 2013, and the force’s coffers being boosted to the tune of £208,415.

Major successes of the Economic Crime Unit since April 2013, include Kevin Hart, who was ordered to pay £1m in October for his role in an industrial-sized cannabis factory discovered in Haddenham in 2010.

He was one of six people convicted in connection with the factory. He was jailed for 10 years and a confiscation order for £1m was secured against him.

Crime unit manager Paul Prosser said: “The message is clear to criminals: crime does not pay and we will not tolerate anyone benefitting from crime. We will do everything in our power to tirelessly pursue criminals even after they have been convicted and sentenced to strip them of any assets which they have gained unlawfully.”

The unit does not just pursue Proceeds of Crime Act cases, but also assists in a wide variety of investigations and fraud cases.

The fraud and money laundering team is currently working on 12 complex fraud cases while providing support to more than 50 active investigations and has secured six convictions in the past year.

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