DRUG NETWORK ORDERED BY COURT TO PAY £2.5 MILLION IN ILL-GOTTEN GAINS

DRUG NETWORK ORDERED BY COURT TO PAY £2.5 MILLION IN ILL-GOTTEN GAINS

Three members of the same family, including two pensioners, have been jailed for peddling millions of pounds worth of heroin from their semi-detached home .

Barry Warden, 71, his 65-year-old wife Mavis, and their son David, 42, obtained huge quantities of the Class A drug from dealers before distributing and selling it on.

Their £150,000 family home in Wisbech, Cambs., was the centre of the huge distribution network and they and other members have now been ordered to pay back nearly £2.5 million.

An investigation deemed the family had benefited by £608,000 from their crime and confiscation orders were made.

The Eastern Region Special Operations Unit (ERSOU) issued David Warden with a £210,000 confiscation order, £35,335 for Barry Warden and £922 for his wife Mavis.

A Rolex watch worth more than £3,000 belonging to David Warden was seized along with his dad’s blue Ford Transit van and two refreshment vans.

David Warden was jailed for 12 years, while his parents, who were jailed in May 2005 for a similar drugs conspiracy run from the same address, were sentenced to six years and nine months for Mavis, and three years and 364 days for Barry.

All three had pleaded guilty to conspiracy to supply class A drugs at an earlier hearing and the shortfall for each will remain as a debt to be re-paid when they are able.

The Warden family were arrested on January 27, 2014, during a search of the property and surrounding area using search dogs and 5kg of heroin was discovered.

An estimated £4 million worth of class A drugs had been handled by the network during the course of the investigation, which ran from September 2013 to June 2014.

Six others involved have also had cash and assets seized under the Proceeds of Crime Act since they were jailed in December 2014.

DI Chris Day, from ERSOU, said: “This case shows that serious crime not only results in substantial prison sentences for those involved but also a demand to re-pay the financial benefits of that crime.

“Wherever possible we will continue to use the Proceeds of Crime Act to ensure those criminals who benefit from their actions are stripped of any profit from their unlawful activities.”

Azad Yaqub, 32, of Bradford, West Yorkshire, was jailed for nine years, benefited by £227,430 and a confiscation order of £72,670.

Mohammed Idris, 36, of Dewsbury, West Yorkshire, was jailed for six years and six months. He was found to have benefited by £36,000, identical to his confiscation order.

Ayleasha Bennett, 30, of Peterborough, Cambs., was jailed for nine years, benefited by £255,000 and had a £3,881 confiscation order.

Chanel Bennett, 21, of Peterborough, Cambs., was jailed for three years and nine months, benefited by £38,580 and had a £100 confiscation order.

Geoff Witney, 40, of Peterborough, Cambs., was given a 12 month sentence suspended for two years for money laundering. He benefited by £16,940 and had a £11,106 confiscation order.

Mohammed Anjam Yaqoob, 34, from West Yorkshire, was jailed for eight years for conspiracy to supply class A drugs, beneitted by £75,000 and had a £4,538 confiscation order.

The total benefit was £2,472,950, of which £375,553 was subjected to confiscation order.

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    • After originally starting her journalism career at local paper the Leicester Mercury, Laura moved to Bristol to become a senior reporter at SWNS. She now runs the ‘Sell Us Your Story’ website, gathering different stories and undertaking general reporting and copywriting duties.

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