Cops crack down on criminal gains

Police have made a series of arrests during an operation to seize criminal property.

On Tuesday officers arrested a 34-year-old man for fraud and money laundering and a 33-year-old woman for money laundering in Halifax.

Both have been released on police bail pending further enquiries.

Following two separate confiscation orders at Bradford Crown Court last week, a 33-year-old man from Halifax was ordered to pay back £61,000 within six months.

He had earlier pleaded guilty to two counts of fraud and one of money laundering and was sentenced to nine months in prison, suspended for 24 months and was given a 250 hour community service order.

A 28-year-old man, also from Halifax, was ordered to pay £4,000 or face prison.

He pleaded guilty to possession of cannabis and money laundering and was sentenced to 50 weeks in prison, suspended for 24 months and was given 150 hours community service.

The arrests are part of an ongoing drive to seize the proceeds of crime and turn it into cash that can be used in communities.

Using the Proceeds of Crime Act, officers have the power to seize cash and recover cars, houses and other assets from criminals and turn them into money for local communities.

Since April this year, there have been 16 confiscation orders in Calderdale to the value of just over £269,000.

Detective Chief Inspector Terry Long, for Calderdale Division, said: “In the last two years, the Proceeds of Crime Act team has done an excellent job in confiscating over one million pounds of criminal assets.

“The Proceeds of Crimes Act is a powerful tool as it has a real impact on the criminals,” he said.

“Gone are the days when criminals committed a crime, came back out of prison and lived off the proceeds of that crime.

“We can now take the financial benefit away from them and put some of it back into the community,” he said.

Anyone who has suspicions that someone is living beyond their means with no apparent legitimate income or anyone who suspects that someone is involved in criminal activity is asked to ring Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111.