Leicestershire: Record £1bn Seized From Organised Criminals

28 Jul

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Video: £1bn Haul Sparks New Organised Crime Strategy

The Government has redesigned its plans to deal with organised crime after a record £1bn haul of cash and goods was seized from gangsters.

The aim is to take a tougher approach while at the same time reducing the cost to the taxpayer.

Detective Inspector Paul Wenlock, from Leicestershire Police, said: “There’s a move to use financial investigation more and more.

“That will obviously identify further assets – and from those assets we can take away from the criminals.

“That’s a deterrent, and it shows the public we’re interacting with these criminals and taking cash out of crime.”

Organised crime gangs cost the taxpayer up to £40bn a year.

In 2010, more than £161m in cash and assets were seized and around £800m was frozen in bank accounts. Of the total, £49m was returned to victims.

 

Some of the items taken from drugs traffickers, car thieves and fraudsters have been stored at a secret location in Leicestershire.

They include cars, expensive jewellery and designer clothing, as well as bikes, skateboards, books and even children’s car seats.

It is all sold on eBay and the money made is used to fight crime.

David Hargrave, who runs the warehouse, said: “Our turnover is just short of £500,000. Electrical items always sell well, jewellery sells very, very well – and, of course, so do the high-quality cars and plasma TVs.”

But the Government has admitted more needs to be done.

Home Office minister James Brokenshire said: “We will ensure that those who commit serious and organised crime are tracked down, pursued, brought to justice and their ill-gotten gains are stripped away.”

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