Crackdown on organised crime continues as July sees massive £3million of criminal assets seized and reinvested for good
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Over £3million of criminal assets and money has been seized from criminals throughout the month of July, and half of this will be reinvested into policing and community projects across the Greater Manchester region.
Greater Manchester Police's Economic Crime Unit (ECU) continues to crack down on the ill-gotten-gains of crime, retrieving valuable cash and assets from activity such as drug conspiracies, money laundering and theft.
This latest sum, obtained in only one month, is made up of the value of criminals' assets and money stripped by law-enforcement in Greater Manchester following civil 'proceeds of crime' investigations.
Money recovered includes the results of an elaborate organised crime scheme to defraud investors in London.
Criminals posed as an established, large and successful online retailer, even renting an office space and opening multiple websites, defrauding £190,000 from willing financiers.
Officers swooped on the office to find it empty, and the websites to be fake. The money was then frozen and forfeited under Proceeds of Crime legislation.
A further case saw warrants on an empty address in Bury turn up nearly £40,000 in value of organised crime assets, with officers finding a bag of cash, a cash-counting machine and a quantity of cannabis.
All forfeited funds are sent to the Home Office and half is returned to GMP to be re-invested in a range of policing and community projects as part of our wider approach at tackling serious and organised crime.
Detective Sergeant Sarah Langley, who leads the Asset Detention and Recovery Unit (ADRU), said: "Our team of experts make use of all powers available under the Proceeds of Crime Act, which includes cash seizure, listed assets and account freezing orders.
"Stripping criminals of this cash and assets, including money that fuels organised crime, sends a clear message that crime doesn't pay, and we'll do everything we can within our powers to make sure of it."
Proceeds of Crime hearings take place on a weekly basis, involving sums of a few thousand pounds, to figures as high as £140,000.
The reinvestment of money focuses on tackling organised crime and benefiting the local communities GMP serves.
Some of the projects that have already benefited from the funds include a boxing club in Oldham for young people, and the 'GetAway'N'GetSafe' program in Manchester which delivers early intervention for young people at school to educate them of the dangers and consequences of drugs, exploitation, gangs and anti-social behaviour.
Detective Chief Inspector Joe Harrop, of Greater Manchester Police's Economic Crime Unit, said: "These funds were set to benefit a small number of people with malicious intentions that are massively damaging to our society and region.
"A lot of the projects that this money is being reinvested in tackle the roots of organised crime, including providing alternatives to the young people that often end up in these circles.
"By stopping this flow of funding in its tracks and reinjecting it into positive community projects, good can come from illicit means and benefit our city and surrounding areas.
"To achieve this sum in the month of July alone is a huge success for our team ad it's an upward climb we intend to continue in tackling the proliferation of organised crime in Manchester."