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|crime doesn't pay|
|12/05/04 at 12:47:23|
MOBSTERS BUSTED IN £10M STRIPSHOW EXCLUSIVE: Gangbusters seize criminals' assets
By Russell Findlay
A TEAM of elite crime-busters have stripped more than £10million from suspected drug dealers and crooks.
The astonishing seizures include 33 homes, 74 hidden bank accounts and a fleet of luxury cars.
The targets have included suspected shotgun robber Stephen Park. Even though he walked free from court twice, the criminal asset-strippers still refused to give up.
A Sunday Mail investigation reveals the Civil Recovery Unit, led by top lawyer Lorna Harris, have also taken watches and jewellery in a series of raids on crime lords.
Today we lift the lid on the suspected criminals targeted under the new Proceeds of Crime Act. Some have criminal records for drugs offences and violence. Others have been acquitted on criminal charges - some on the controversial Not Proven verdict.
Among those on the hit-list are: #A gang who walked free after being accused of a £500,000 shotgun robbery on a security van.
# A drugs dealer we exposed as a prime suspect in a notorious murder.
# A former top-flight footballer linked to a drugs cartel.
Last night, Harris said: 'The Proceeds of Crime Act is an extremely powerful tool in our fight against crime.
'We have already had significant success with such cases.
'We are sending a clear signal to communities throughout Scotland that we will track down and recover the proceeds of crime and ensure that crime does not pay.'
Critics have voiced fears that the new law's unprecedented powers may infringe on human rights.
But Professor Alan Miller, of Strathclyde University law school, said: 'There have been concerns expressed but the new civil recovery system has been tested in various courts.
'It has been upheld to be compatible with the European Convention on Human Rights.
'It would depend on the facts of each case and the authorities must ensure that they apply these powers carefully.'
Scores of suspected drug dealers and crooks face financial ruin thank to Harris and her crack team.
James Dean Lindsay Al-Jarrah has lost £23,706 in two bank accounts in the alias name JD McMahon and £2070 cash.
The ex-squaddie from Aberdeen has several convictions and his only legitimate income is a meagre Army pension and benefits.
David Dodds Cameron, wife Linda and her son Steven could lose their former council house in Dundee, five bank accounts and two insurance policies.
Also seized were a £4000 plasma TV and Sky digibox, Toyota Rav 4, Land Rover Discovery and VW Passat.
Linda and Steven are accused of 'concealing the financial proceeds' of career criminal Cameron.
Investigators have frozen £28,526 in an Edinburgh bank account held by Arthur Knowles and £7370 cash.
Last year, his girlfriend Laura Carrigan took the rap in court after police found £150 of heroin and £7370 in her home.
Andrew Percy, of Bathgate, West Lothian, was sacked as a night cleaner at Marks & Spencer in Princes Street, Edinburgh, for stealing from tills.
In two years, around £180,000 was stolen and he admitted simply hitting the tills to open them.
Now he faces losing the home he shares with girlfriend Jaron McCulloch.
Investigators found £110,000 passed through the pair's bank accounts, they paid a £60,000 cash deposit on their home and enjoyed exotic holidays.
Seized from Glasgow drug dealer Marcus Kelman and girlfriend Caroline Rock are two homes, six bank accounts, a BMW and Rolex.
Investigators found huge sums of unexplained cash swirling around their bank accounts.
And big-time drug dealer William Hillan may lose his dirty fortune - thanks partly to his own big mouth.
In June he told police he was relieved to have 'gotten away' with a recent not guilty plea and was retiring to his house in Spain.
Hillan, of Dundonald, Ayrshire, used wife Elizabeth and their 10-year-old twin sons to launder money.
But investigators have targeted their home, five bank accounts, £22,000 cash, five policies and even their greyhounds.
Another target is George Allan Short - a former criminal partner of shamed ex-soccer star Frank McAvennie.
He became infamous after £200,000 in cash was seized from him and Macca by Customs at Dover.
A court ruled the money was to fund drug dealing and dismissed McAvennie's tall-tale about a hunt for sunken treasure.
Fraudster Short has never paid tax and his life of crime has paid well - until now.
The CRU have frozen he and wife Theresa's £300,000 house in Dullatur, North Lanarkshire.
They have also targeted his BMW 5 series, her VW Golf Tdi, five bank accounts, cash and his private plate S111 ORT.
|Re: crime doesn't pay|
|12/05/04 at 14:03:01|
Was there any special reason you posted this? I don't get it???
|12/05/04 at 14:03:30|
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