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Cash seized from Kent criminals

Kent criminals stripped of more than £9 million in cash and assets

More than £9 million in cash and assets has been stripped from Kent criminals in the last two years.

Investigators have used the used Proceeds of Crime Act (Poca) to deprive drug dealers, people smugglers and fraudsters of ill-gotten gains.

The work has been overseen by officers from the Kent and Essex Serious Crime Directorate.

Its head Assistant Chief Constable Nick Downing said: “Police officers regularly come into contact with people who drive expensive cars and enjoy a luxurious lifestyle without a reasonable explanation for where the money for it all came from.

“Others make efforts to keep their incomes secret but instead have large amounts of cash hidden within their homes.

“It is important to remember that a police investigation does not always end when an offender is sent to prison, as we are keen to ensure they do not continue to reap the financial rewards of their crimes after they have been released.”

Among those targeted by Poca investigations was a family of crooked jewellers prosecuted for money laundering, handling stolen goods and burglary. They were ordered to pay back £945,000.

Drug smuggler Stephen Hall, 55, was jailed for 20 years for importing class A and B drugs into the UK. He was ordered to pay back more than £228,000 while assets including a Rolex watch and a number of cars including a drag racer were confiscated.

In January 2018 the ringleader of a gang jailed for smuggling migrants into Kent was ordered to pay back more than £100,000. Rameo Mohammed had to give up two cars he had bought from the proceeds of his crimes and almost £5,000 in cash.

ACC Downing added: “Our financial investigators are very experienced in dealing with these matters and do a great job bringing evidence before the courts and helping to spread the message that crime does not pay.

“We will continue to use our powers under the Proceeds of Crime Act to ensure offenders are left under no illusion that once caught, they will no longer be allowed to enjoy some of the finer things in life that they were not entitled to in the first place.”

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