Twenty-seven members of an organised crime group handed confiscation orders worth more than £1.2m under POCA
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An organised crime group involved in the supply of class A drugs have been given confiscation orders under the Proceeds of Crime Act (POCA) to the value of more than £1.2 million.
In 2021 a number of people were convicted and sentenced for their part in a large-scale drug supply operation across the county.
Officers from East Midlands Special Operations Unit (EMSOU) spent an undeterminable number of hours investigating the whole group, who used dedicated phone lines in order to facilitate the supply and distribution of heroin, cocaine and crack cocaine throughout the county between July 2017 and September 2018.
Following their convictions twenty-seven of those individuals have been the subject of POCA hearings over the last couple of years and the last defendant was issued with a confiscation order last month.
Harshad Varia appeared at Leicester Crown Court on Friday 10 March and was said to have benefitted from his crimes by more than £330,000 and was ordered to pay £225,042 through the sale of available assets.
In February 2021 Varia, 57, formerly of Beverly Avenue, Leicester, was convicted of conspiracy to supply class A drugs and sentenced to eight years imprisonment.
Members of the force’s Economic Crime Unit are responsible for collating the evidence of how convicted criminals have benefitted from their ill-gotten gains.
The evidence and confiscation order are then submitted to the courts for consideration. If the order is granted the document will state the benefit and also set a value that the defendant will need to pay from available assets.
These assets can be jewellery, clothing, vehicles and in some cases property. In the case of Varia the order included three properties which will be sold re recoup the value of the confiscation order.
Other high value confiscation orders include: -
Mohamed Yusuf Khan, 28, formerly of Jellicoe Road, Leicester, who was said to have benefitted by £500,000 and ordered to repay £57,374, after he was sentenced to 20 years in prison for conspiracy to supply class A drugs.
Adam Mayat, 33, formerly of Saxthorpe Road, Leicester, was said to have benefitted by more than £127,000, he was ordered to repay £55,703, after he was sentenced to 19 years in prison for conspiracy to supply class A drugs.
Paul Wenlock said: “Our work doesn’t just stop at conviction. Over the last two years financial investigators in my team have worked tirelessly to ensure we were able to use powers under the POCA to ensure those convicted are not allowed to continue benefitting from their criminality.
“Anyone who doesn’t abide by the order and pay the value of the confiscation order could be subject of an extended prison sentence and should the defendant acquire further assets in the future we can look to confiscate those to ensure the full value of the order is paid.
“Income generated from the sales of POCA items is submitted to the Home Office who then return a percentage of the money to the force which is shared between the police, victims, courts and the criminal justice system. The remaining income from the sale of other items remains with the force.”