MORE than £31,000 can be seized from a convicted drug dealer following work by financial investigators at Staffordshire Police.
A confiscation order was made on Tuesday (June 16) in a hearing at Wolverhampton Crown Court for Tariq Khwaja to repay £31,955.
The full amount must be paid in three months, with failure to repay resulting in a further 12-month jail sentence.
We reported in 2018 how Khwaja, aged 47, formerly of Parkhill Road, Sutton Coldfield, was jailed for nine years for possession with intent to supply cocaine and cannabis in March 2018. He was in a car stopped on the M6 near junction 14, which contained a large quantity of cannabis marked ‘fragile’ and hidden in laundry bags.
The Staffordshire Police Financial Investigation Unit, complete investigations that can assist colleagues and partner agencies to identify where a financial benefit has been made, and where appropriate take action in both criminal and civil courts.
Once the order is paid, the money is distributed between the Government Agencies, Courts, CPS and Police. The money returned to Staffordshire Police is used to fund crime-fighting and support crime and anti-social behaviour reduction initiatives.
Detective Sergeant Chris Roberts, of the Financial Investigation unit, said: “We will continue to explore opportunities to use the Proceeds of Crime Act. This legislation allows us to recover assets from criminals and ensure that they don’t benefit financially from their crimes.”
“We’re very pleased the order has been granted following hard work from my team and also that of the original investigation team who secured the conviction.”
You can pass information to Staffordshire Police by calling 101, via their website www.staffordshire.police.uk or via their Facebook or Twitter pages.
You can also report information about crime by contacting the independent crime-fighting charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 or through their Anonymous Online Form at www.crimestoppers-uk.org. No personal details are taken, information cannot be traced or recorded and you will not go to court.