Six properties – worth a whopping £1.7million – have been seized from an organised criminal empire who supplied cocaine across the Birmingham and the West Midlands reports Manchester Evening News.
The 15-strong gang, which was led by the three Saeed brothers from Wolverhampton – Abdul, Mohammed and Shabaz – was jailed for a total of more than 50 years at Stafford Crown Court on December 18 and 19.
The court heard that police seized cocaine with a street value of more than £200,000, £40,000 in cash and 132 mobile phones during the course of the investigation, which began in 2013, when warrants were executed.
Following the successful conviction, The National Crime Agency used proceeds of crime powers to seize properties from Birmingham and the Black Country from associates of the organised crime group at the High Court in London on Monday, January 14.
Property linked to Sukhjinder Kaur, 35, of Rugeley, and her brother-in-law Jasvir Singh, 45, also known as Lashman Chatha, under the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002.
The NCA alleged that Kaur laundered the proceeds of the crime group’s drug trafficking activities through purchasing property and was also engaged in mortgage fraud.
This enabled her to amass a property portfolio worth over £2million between 2010 and 2013, acquired in her own name and that of her company Lashman Estates Limited.
The NCA claimed that the acquisitions were made at the direct control of her brother-in-law Singh.
Three of these properties had been specifically utilised by the Saeed crime group, including one found to have an extensive underground cannabis factory.
The respondents denied any involvement in unlawful conduct but they ultimately failed to provide any evidence or consistent account to demonstrate that the properties were funded from legitimate sources.
Based on the strength of the NCA’s case against them, and in an attempt to avoid a lengthy trial, the respondents reached a settlement agreement resulting in the recovery by consent of six properties with an approximate net value of £1.7 million.
The NCA have been assisted by the West Midlands RART, who made the original referral, and by Staffordshire Police.
Andy Lewis, the NCA’s head of asset denial, Civil Recovery and Tax Investigations, said: “The powers that the National Crime Agency has under the Proceeds of Crime Act to seize property and other assets that we can show are linked to criminality often go under the radar.
“Our message today though is simple. We will utilise all the powers we have to relentlessly pursue those associated with criminality and in doing so will take away the very assets that criminal activity funds.
“While Staffordshire Police were able to prosecute and convict those involved directly in the drug dealing, we have taken action against key associates suspected of links to that network.”
The below were sentenced for conspiracy to supply cocaine:
Abdul Saeed, 38, of no fixed address, sentenced to six years two months
Mohammed Saeed, 43, of Summerfield Road, Wolverhampton, sentenced to six years, four months (already served five years, six months)
Shabaz Saeed, 46, of Napier Road, Wolverhampton, sentenced to nine years, three months
Sonny Barham, 30, of Weston Drive, Walsall, sentenced to two years, six months
Sandy McInnes, 33, of Pye Green Road, Cannock, sentenced to seven years, two months
Stephen Coldrick, 62, of Evans Street, Wolverhampton, sentenced to seven years
Richard Smallman, 31, of Beau Court, Hednesford Road, Cannock, sentenced to four years, nine months
Martin Lloyd, 27, of Canford Place, Cannock, sentenced to one year 10 months (already served three years).
Craig Hartshorne, 31, of Newhall Gardens, Cannock Road, Cannock, sentenced to one year 10 months (already served four years).
Emily Adams, 26, of Pye Green Road, Cannock, sentenced to three years, four months.
Charlotte Adams, 29, of Cannock, sentenced to 20 months, suspended for two years and ordered to do 180 hours of unpaid work.
Tina Hall-McInnes, 36, of Brooklands Road, Cannock, sentenced to 20 months, suspended for two years and ordered to do 180 hours of unpaid work.
Kylie McGowan, 33, of no fixed address, sentenced to 18 months, suspended for two years and ordered to do 180 hours of unpaid work.
Benjamin Brown, 34, of Wolverhampton Road, Cannock, and Nathan Davis, 28, of Bradbury Lane, Hednesford, will be sentenced in March after entering guilty pleas.
Shane Girvan, 32, of Rigby Drive, Cannock, and Robert Jones, 26, of Buttermere Close, Cannock, were each given 40 hours community service for possession of cocaine.