A brothel manager, drug dealers and robbers have been ordered to pay over £191,000 during Proceeds of Crime hearings.
Throughout November 2016 detectives from Staffordshire Police’s Fraud and Investigation Unit brought successful Proceeds of Crime Act (POCA) proceedings against 10 convicted criminals.
Cash generated from these hearings is used to benefit local communities.
The money goes to the Home Office, with a percentage being awarded to the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner (OPCC) to be used to fund projects to prevent and detect crime in the county.
Detective Inspector Rob Harvmann said: “We welcome the results of the POCA hearings ordering criminals to pay back almost £200,000.
“Staffordshire Police continues to robustly strip criminals of their assets, working closely with the Crown Prosecution Service and the courts to demonstrate that crime really doesn’t pay.
“We also believe there is a strong link between hitting offenders in the pocket and cutting crime. We will continue to hit offenders where it hurts.
“Anyone with information about people making an unfair living from crime is urged to ring us on 101 or contact independent charity Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.”
Police and Crime Commissioner for Staffordshire, Matthew Ellis, said: “The police in Staffordshire are becoming more adept than ever at seizing the ill-gotten gains of criminals. Whether it is vehicles being used illegally or the proceeds from drug dealing and other crime, hitting criminals financially alongside custodial and other sanctions sends a clear message on behalf of local law abiding people.
“In Staffordshire, since I changed the rules in 2014, all of the money received through the Proceeds of Crime Act is recycled into local projects in communities that make people and our places safer. Over 50 have been funded since 2014.”
Details of POCA hearings in November 2016:
Waikin Chong, 48, of Wilnecote Lane, Tamworth, appeared at Stafford Crown Court where a Confiscation Order was made for £48,850. Chong has three months to pay with a default sentence of four years.
Chong was arrested and charged with managing a brothel after a search warrant was executed at his address on 16 November 2015, following information that the property was being operated as a brothel. He pleaded guilty at Stafford Crown Court on 8 June 2016 and was sentenced to eight months imprisonment.
Beverley Jenkinson, aged 51, of Anchor Road, Stoke on Trent , appeared at Stoke-on-Trent Crown Court where a confiscation order was made in the sum £34,527.
This followed a search warrant by South Stoke Neighbourhood Action Team at her home address in Anchor Road. They found £12,840 worth of cannabis plants growing and £15,270 cash.
Jenkinson appeared at Stoke-on-on-Trent Crown Court in August where she pleaded guilty to cannabis production and money laundering and was sentenced to 20 months imprisonment. Financial investigators identified further assets including a car and £6,267 held in a bank account, resulting in the order detailed above.
Mohammed Saeed, aged 42, of Wombourne Park, Wombourne, was ordered to pay £79,950 at Stafford Crown Court.
Following his arrest in Wombourne in July 2016, officers found evidence of drug supply including a large number of deals of high purity cocaine together with 13kg of benzocaine, a cutting agent used to bulk up cocaine deals. The substances had a street value of £1,500,000. Saeed was charged with affray and possession with intent to supply cocaine, the affray charge relating to an earlier ‘drug’ related incident.. He appeared at Stafford Crown Court in August 2016 where he pleaded guilty to both offences and received six years imprisonment.
Eight confiscation orders, totalling £27,847, were granted against eight defendants jailed after being found guilty of a series of armed robberies.
Vehicles that were purchased from the proceeds of the criminality were seized, two high-powered Audi sports cars (pictured) and a Vauxhall Corsa will be sold at auction to pay off some of their owners POCA bill.
The eight men appeared at Stafford Crown Court in May 2016 where they were found guilty of a series of armed robberies in the West Midlands and Staffordshire area. The men targeted a bank, several supermarkets and a licensed premises using violence and intimidation to steal cash, jewellery and cigarettes. Although the sentences at the time were substantial the matter went to the Criminal Appeal Court on 27 October where the sentences were increased, the combined total imprisonment for the eight men came to 100 years and two months, that’s an average sentence of twelve and a half years each.