22 Jan 2019
Britain’s National Crime Agency (NCA) has seized a property worth £1.7 million from a Staffordshire-based woman who, with her firm, used money from drug dealers to purchase a number of properties.
A Civil Recovery Order by Consent was made at the High Court in London on 14 January, leading to the NCA seizing recoverable property linked to the woman and her brother-in-law under the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002.
According to the NCA, the woman laundered the proceeds of the crime group’s drug trafficking activities through purchasing property and was also engaged in mortgage fraud.
This enabled her to amass a property portfolio worth over £2 million between 2010 and 2013, acquired in her own name and that of her company. The NCA alleged that the acquisitions were made at the direct control of her brother-in-law.
Three of the properties were specifically utilised by the crime group, including one found to have an extensive underground cannabis factory.
The respondents denied any involvement in unlawful conduct but they ultimately failed to provide any evidence or consistent account to demonstrate that the properties were funded from legitimate sources, the NCA said.
Andy Lewis, the NCA’s Head of Asset Denial, Civil Recovery and Tax Investigations, said: “The powers that the National Crime Agency has under the Proceeds of Crime Act to seize property and other assets that we can show are linked to criminality often go under the radar.
“Our message today though is simple. We will utilise all the powers we have to relentlessly pursue those associated with criminality and in doing so will take away the very assets that criminal activity funds.”
The properties seized following the Civil Recovery Order are:
– A property in Summerfield Road, Wolverhampton, West Midlands;
– A plot of land in Darlaston Road, Wednesbury, West Midlands;
– A property in Darlaston Road, Wednesbury, West Midlands;
– A property in King Street, Fenton, West Midlands;
– A property in Branston Street, Birmingham, West Midlands;
– A property in Middletown, Welshpool, Wales.
Photo: This is a sample photo and does not represent the properties mentioned in the story.
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