Gang must repay £1 million+ made through drug dealing
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Eight men, who made more than £1 million through their involvement in trafficking cocaine into Leicestershire, have been ordered to repay it.
The gang was jailed for nearly 70 years combined back in 2017/18 after an investigation by the East Midlands Special Operations Unit (EMSOU) uncovered the Class A drugs conspiracy between the East Midlands county and Dewsbury, in West Yorkshire.
At Leicester Crown Court yesterday (Monday 12 August), the final defendant was given a Confiscation Order.
Liam Martin, aged 31 and formerly of Fleckney, was ordered to repay £12,440 of the £27,000 he had made in relation to being found in possession of cocaine and crack cocaine. This amount included the value of a Rolex watch he claimed he had already sold to pay off a debt.
At previous hearings in July and May, seven others were found to have benefitted from the following amounts during the conspiracy:
Christopher Smith, aged 34 and formerly of Leicester: £680,000, with £58 identified as being available to pay.
Rishi Karir, aged 34 and formerly of Littlethorpe: £160,000, with £26,115 identified as being able to pay.
Francesco Dimola, aged 35 and formerly of Enderby: £140,000, with £290 identified as being available to pay.
Jonathon Lightbown, aged 31 and formerly of Wigston: £20,000, with £1,400.00 identified as being available to pay.
Jason Robert Gooch, aged 42 and formerly of Dewsbury: £152,000, with £839.43 identified as being available to pay.
Daniel Witheridge, aged 33 and formerly of Loughborough: £57,166.63, with £6,961.63 identified as being available to pay.
Mark Andrew Longland, aged 57 and formerly of Leicester: £30,000, with £30,000 identified as being available to pay.
EMSOU Detective Inspector Lee Hunt said: “We have a variety of tools in our belt to ensure that our most serious criminals are not only removed from society, but also stripped of any profits they have made through their harmful activities.
“Under the Proceeds of Crime Act we were able to seize the criminal profits from the gang in the form of cash, copious Premium Bonds, expensive watches, cars and off-road motorcycles, personalised number plates, and a number of digital devices.
“If these men, who remain in jail, fail to pay their available amounts they face further time behind bars. The rest of the debt will remain with them and revisited and their assets reviewed until it is paid it off in full.”