The jailed ringleader of a major drug supply network has been ordered to pay back more than £600,000 in crime proceeds – or face another five years behind bars.
Birmingham man Zaheer Hussain (pictured) was handed a 20-year prison term in 2013 after a West Midlands Police investigation identified him as the kingpin of a trafficking gang smuggling heroin to the UK from Afghanistan.
More than £3-million worth of heroin, hundreds of thousands of pounds in cash and firearms were recovered by police during a three-year investigation that concluded with 20 people being jailed for a total of more than 200 years.
Financial investigators from West Midlands Police’s Economic Crime Unit picked up the case and following a complex enquiry ascertained 30-year-old Hussain had benefited to the tune of £1,329,000 from his drugs empire.
And at Birmingham Crown Court on June 27 they secured a Proceeds of Crime Act (POCA) confiscation order that means he must pay £605,000 back into the public purse within three months – or have his stay at Her Majesty’s pleasure extended by five years.
The remaining £724,000 will hang over Hussain and detectives can strip him of cash and assets in future to pay off the POCA bill.
West Midlands Police Detective Chief Inspector Darren Walsh from the force’s Economic Crime Unit, said: “Hussain had already been handed a very lengthy jail term but it was important for us to pursue him through the courts to recoup his ill-gotten gains.
“Our financial investigators have done a brilliant job, working tirelessly to build a confiscation case against Hussain and prove what money and assets he’d accrued through drug dealing.
“It’s important we show to people that crime doesn’t pay. This money will be put into the public purse and can be spent on crime prevention projects and community initiatives.”
West Midlands Police & Crime Commissioner David Jamieson, added: “Communities in east Birmingham really suffered from this group’s drug dealing so I’d encourage residents there in-particular to apply to my office for POCA money through the Active Citizens Fund.
“That fund has been set up to help support good causes and local projects that benefit communities. It is always very satisfying to take money out of criminals’ hands and put it to good use.”
Click here for more information on the Active Citizens Fund.
Source:: West Midlands Police News