New laws help Crown strip crooks of £3.6m

The Press and Journal (Inverness) - - NEWS -

crim­i­nal gains and a re­quire­ment to no­tify when a prop­erty is put up for sale - can now be im­posed on crim­i­nals to en­sure that as­sets are re­cov­ered.

From Jan­uary new pow­ers will mean money and as­sets that can­not be le­git­i­mately ac­counted for by in­di­vid­u­als rea­son­ably sus­pected of in­volve­ment in se­ri­ous crime can be seized.

The Lord Ad­vo­cate said: “The prin­ci­ple un­der­pin­ning our pro­ceeds of crime laws is sim­ple - crim­i­nals should not be al­lowed to profit from their crimes. Law en­force­ment agen­cies will take ro­bust ac­tion to re­move crim­i­nal prof­its from those who ben­e­fit from them. The pow­ers we have to tar­get crim­i­nal as­sets are im­por­tant weapons in tack­ling crim­i­nal­ity, in­clud­ing se­ri­ous or­gan­ised crime.

“Us­ing these pow­ers, we can dis­rupt the abil­ity of crim­i­nal en­ter­prises to gen­er­ate profit, and so con­tinue to func­tion.”

The Lord Ad­vo­cate told the Se­ri­ous Or­gan­ised Crime Task­force yes­ter­day that £3,650,000 has al­ready been seized by the re­cov­ery teams this year.

In the last three years more than £400,000 has been seized from peo­ple who thought their case was over as law en­force­ment agen­cies con­tinue to pur­sue crim­i­nal as­sets, in­clud­ing those not iden­ti­fied dur­ing ini­tial in­ves­ti­ga­tions.

On Fri­day the courts ap­proved the con­fis­ca­tion of £6,000 found at the home of Lind­say Dal­gleish who was jailed in 2015 for two charges of sup­ply­ing drugs, the Crown Of­fice said.

The Crown said this money takes them closer to re­cov­er­ing the £54,000 he was judged to have made through crime.

Jus­tice Sec­re­tary Michael Mathe­son said: “We are con­tin­u­ing to make progress in dis­rupt­ing the ac­tiv­i­ties of crim­i­nals in Scot­land and I am en­cour­aged to hear about the lev­els of as­sets be­ing seized, which is a credit to our po­lice and prose­cu­tors.”

“Crim­i­nals should not be al­lowed to profit from their crimes”

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