Criminals across Cambridgeshire have been ordered to pay back more than Â£2.3million of their ill-gotten gains during the past 12 months.
The orders mean victims of crime are set to benefit from Â£197,480 through compensation payouts, while the force should receive Â£449,785 to help its fight against crime.
The previous year’s activities saw Â£609,330 being paid to victims since April 2013, and the force’s coffers being boosted to the tune of Â£208,415.
Major successes of the Economic Crime Unit (ECU) since April 2013, include:
- Kevin Hart was ordered to pay Â£1m in October for his role in an industrial-sized cannabis factory discovered in Haddenham in 2010. He was one of six people convicted in connection with the factory. He was jailed for 10 years and a confiscation order for Â£1m was secured against him.
- Nathan Bell had Â£5,000 in his car when he was stopped by police in London in January. Despite not being charged with any offence, the convicted robber was ordered to hand over the cash to Cambridgeshire police as he had an outstanding order from 2011.
- The elderly victim of fraudster Mahletchimi Ramudu was finally given the Â£278,485 stolen from him. The confiscation order was finalised against Ramudu in March.
- Chris Dinneya was jailed for 42 months after being convicted of money laundering in connection with a fake lottery scam.
ECU Manager Paul Prosser said: “The Ramudu confiscation order was perhaps the most pleasing demonstration of our work because it gives the victim some closure and means he has been fully reimbursed for the crime against him. So often victims of crime are left out of pocket and in financial trouble through the actions of offenders, so it is great when we can claw back what they have lost.
“The message is clear to criminals: crime does not pay and we will not tolerate anyone benefitting from crime. We will do everything in our power to tirelessly pursue criminals even after they have been convicted and sentenced to strip them of any assets which they have gained unlawfully.â€
The ECU does not just pursue Proceeds of Crime Act cases, but also assists in a wide variety of investigations and fraud cases.
The Fraud and Money Laundering Team is currently working on 12 complex fraud cases while providing support to more than 50 active investigations and has secured six convictions in the past year.