Thursday, 16 February 2012

Over £16,000 drugs cash confiscated from criminals

Two criminals who made money through illegal drugs have had a total of over £16,000 cash confiscated from them.

The money was taken from the men during two separate Proceeds of Crime Act (POCA) hearings.

27-year-old Lewis Arnfield, of Park Lane, Preesall, was convicted of producing cannabis and money laundering in August 2011. At a recent hearing, the court set the benefit of his criminality at £29,745 and ordered that his available assets - £15,421– be confiscated.

Arnfield’s assets were made up of cash seized at the time of his arrest and equity in his home, which he has been ordered to sell. Arnfield has been given six months to meet the order, or he faces nine months in prison.

At a separate hearing, a confiscation order was made against Darren Hornby, 25, of Ingleton Drive, Lancaster. Hornby was convicted of supplying class A and B drugs in June 2011, when he was jailed for 30 months, and November 2011, when he was given a concurrent seven month sentence.

The benefit of his criminality was set at £15,356 with available assets of £1,711.11 – made up of cash seized during his arrests. Further assets can also be confiscated if they are identified in the future.

Anna Willets, financial investigator for Lancashire Constabulary, said: “The Proceeds of Crime Act gives officers the power to seize cash and recover cars, houses and other assets from criminals.

“Confiscation orders can then be made to deprive criminals of the benefit from their crimes – and take further cash from them if we become aware of other assets that they have. It is not right that law abiding residents should see criminals living a life of luxury because of their illegal activities, which is why we seek to take their cash from them through the courts.”

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