More than £41m seized through re­cov­ery or­ders

The Press and Journal (Moray) - - NEWS -

In the past five years, more than £41 mil­lion has been con­fis­cated or re­cov­ered from crim­i­nal and civil re­cov­ery or­ders in Scot­land.

Mea­sures in­tro­duced in April widened what can be classed as cash when seiz­ing as­sets – in­clud­ing bet­ting slips, casino chips and gam­ing vouch­ers.

The for­mer Cab­i­net Sec­re­tary for Jus­tice Michael Mathe­son said it was a sig­nif­i­cant step to­wards en­sur­ing crim­i­nals can­not profit from un­law­ful ac­tiv­i­ties.

He added: “More than £6 mil­lion was re­cov­ered by the Crown Of­fice and the Civil Re­cov­ery Unit in 2017- 18. How­ever, ex­pand­ing the def­i­ni­tion of what can be treatedas­cashand­what po­lice of­fi­cers can search for as they seek to dis­rupt crim­i­nal ac­tiv­ity has the po­ten­tial to fur­ther im­pact Scot­tish or­gan­ised crime.

“I am de­ter­mined that crime will not pay and that ev­ery ill-got­ten as­set can be put back into com­mu­ni­ties through the Cash­back pro­gramme, whether it’s a gem­stone, bet­ting slip or casino chip.

“There must be no respite in tack­ling or­gan­ised crime.”

Po­lice can seize items of value such as jew­ellery, watches, stamps and pre­cious stones where they are sus­pected of be­ing in­volved in il­le­gal ac­tiv­ity.

Courts can con­fis­cate as­sets fol­low­ing a con­vic­tion and can or­der some­one to pay a fixed sum.

The Se­ri­ous and Or­gan­ised Crime Divi­sion (SOCD) and the Civil Re­cov­ery Unit (CRU) deal with the pro­ceeds of crime col­lec­tion.

In Grampian, £320,705 was col­lected un­der SOCD or­ders this year and £116,000 of cash for­fei­ture was col­lected via the CRU.

Sher­iff courts in Aberdeen, Ding­wall, El­gin, In­ver­ness, Peter­head, Stone­haven, Tain and Wick have rung-up £1.1 mil­lion in for­feited cash in the last five years via the CRU.

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