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Met seizes record £94.6m haul from criminals

8:05 am, 20th June 2018

New figures show that Metropolitan Police investigators made effective use of legal measures known as confiscation orders, which allow cash to be taken after a conviction, with £55.5m coming from those alone.

The Hatton Garden heist was one such case, with four of the men convicted for their role in the infamous raid ordered to pay back more than £6m or face an additional seven years behind bars.

Other methods of seizing money included account freezing orders, which stopped criminals being able to access millions in drug money – including £800,000 linked to an organised Chinese crime gang and £840,000 relating to a case of stolen credit card fraud.

Virtual currencies are also included in the final total, with one case currently under investigation involving more than £4m in various forms of digital cash.

Of the £94.6m, £21.7m was taken in April and May 2018 alone – compared to £7.6m taken in the same months last year.

All of the money forfeited and confiscated is paid to the Home Office, which then returns a percentage to the force. For 2017-18, it received £9.55m.

Detective Superintendent Nick Stevens, head of the Met’s criminal finance team, said going after money was key to disrupting criminal networks in the capital.

“We know that the public wants to see criminals not only go to prison but to be stripped of their assets,” he said.

“If there is a drug dealer driving a flashy car, wearing designer clothes, designer watches, the community wants to see that person stripped of their assets.

“Another key reason is the impact it has. If a person does six months and comes out they are coming out still rich, they still have the ability to commit crime, the network is still intact.

“But if you take the money out as well you are totally disrupting the criminal network.”