independent news and information website for the towns and villages which lie alongside the River Dee in north Wales, from Connah's Quay to the border with Chester.

Connah’s Quay man to pay back £13,000 proceeds of crime money as court orders £1m from Asian gold gang

A Connah’s Quay man has been ordered to pay back £13,000 of assets despite benefiting by over a £250,000 from a series of house burglaries in North Wales and Cheshire where ‘high performance’ cars and Asian gold jewellery was targeted.

Nine members of an organised crime group, two from Connah’s Quay, were arrested as part of ‘Operation Analogue’ a joint North Wales and Cheshire Police investigation, they were jailed in September 2016 for a total of 44 years.

Since the convictions, a comprehensive investigation by North Wales Police specialist Financial Investigation Unit revealed the gang benefitted by £1,010,675 from their crimes.

John Purcell from Connah’s Quay benefitted by £250,155 from crimes he committed, investigators found he had assets worth £13,000 and was ordered to pay that amount during a Proceeds of Crime hearing at Mold Crown Court on Monday, September 4.

Miles Berry also from Connah’s Quay benefitted by £95,934 from his crimes, he was found to have no assets and received a ‘nominal order’ of £1.

Jess Cunnah of the Forces’ Financial Investigation Unit said;

“A comprehensive investigation revealed the gang have benefitted to a total of £1,010,675 but in the majority of cases we have been unable to identify any assets still owned by the gang which is why nominal amounts of £1 were granted.

However what’s important to remember is that the agreed benefits, which range between £92, 850 and £250, 155 remain for the life time of all gang members until they are paid off and so when they are released we will look regularly at their life style and actions and where assets are identified we will recover them.

This, in addition to the conditions, and orders they will have to adhere to upon release will ensure we will have every opportunity to fully recover all proceeds where they are identified.”

We want to send a clear message to those involved or thinking of becoming involved in organised crime that you will be arrested, imprisoned and we will take your assets from you.

However we can’t do this alone and we need assistance from our communities to bring these people to justice in the first instance.

Anyone who may information relating to drugs offences is urged to call North Wales Police on 101. Or anonymously via Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.

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