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Cash seized from criminal who ran cannabis factory

Dorset Police secured a Confiscation Order to take thousands of pounds from a criminal who ran a cannabis factory in Ferndown.

Last month, a 47-year-old former Ringwood man was ordered to pay £125,248.07 under the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 following his conviction for production of cannabis in 2012. He was handed a three-year jail term at Bournemouth Crown Court the same year.

Following his conviction, officers from Dorset Police’s Economic Crime Unit launched a confiscation investigation and on 14 March 2014 a Confiscation Order was made by a judge at Bournemouth Crown Court.

During the confiscation process, the man stated that he had no assets. A subsequent investigation led by the Economic Crime Unit identified offshore bank accounts.  The man claimed that he had spent all the money held overseas, but Bournemouth Crown Court did not accept his argument. 

The man was ordered to pay the full amount stated in the Confiscation Order within six months.  If he fails to pay he will serve a two-year default custodial sentence, after which he will still owe the debt.

Detective Sergeant Andrew Kennard, of the Economic Crime Unit, said: “This case is yet another excellent example of how Dorset Police can help take assets away from criminals.

“This case sends out a very clear message to offenders that they will be dealt with through the courts and forced to hand over the illegal earnings made from their criminal activity.”

ISSUED: 11 April 2014