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Suspected crime cash forfeited to the courts

John Freeman
Cash seized during a raid on a Ryelands house has been forfeited to the courts following a Proceeds of Crime Act (POCA) hearing.

Officers raided an address on the Ryelands estate in March and April 2011 and seized over £2,800 in cash from residents at the property.

At a hearing at Lancaster Magistrates Court, officers from Lancaster’s proceeds of crime unit put forward that the cash was believed to have originated from class A drug dealing.

Magistrates ordered that the money should be forfeited and it will ultimately be ploughed back into crime fighting activities.

“Forfeiture orders can be used to retain cash even when a criminal conviction is not in place but where, on the balance of probabilities, the money has either come from criminal activity or could be used to fund future criminal activity," explained DC Stephen Dixon, from the Proceeds of Crime Unit.

“POCA legislation is extremely useful in removing funds that are likely to have been accumulated through illegal activity - particularly drug dealing -  that has caused damage to a local community, especially as by removing this money we can help to prevent further crime and improve the quality of life for local residents.”