Two Halifax men jailed for nine years over a “sophisticated” plot to sell stolen computer and TV equipment have been ordered to repay almost £400,000 each.
The duo sold hundreds of thousands of pounds worth of goods online, laundering cash through eBay and PayPal.
Police found an “Aladdin’s cave” of stolen and fake items including 500 counterfeit Sony PlayStation Dual Shock controllers and more than 300 fake Nintendo DS games consoles.
Aamer Ali, 34, denied one count of conspiracy to handle stolen goods, one count of entering or becoming concerned in a money laundering arrangement and two counts of unauthorised use of a trademark at his criminal case at Bradford Crown Court nearly two years ago.
Naveed Zaman, 32, denied one count of conspiracy to handle stolen goods, five counts of entering or becoming concerned in a money laundering arrangement and two counts of possessing criminal property.
But the punishment didn’t end with their criminal convictions – and they now have three months to repay £381,295.86 and £383,070.86 respectively under the Proceeds of Crime Act.
If they fail to pay they both face an additional four years in prison. The debt will never be cleared until paid in full.
The hearing took place on Monday at Sheffield Crown Court.
Ramona Senior, head of the Economic Crime Unit at West Yorkshire Police, said: “This confiscation was following a lot of hard work by the team to establish by how much Ali and Zaman had gained from their criminal activity and what assets they had available to satisfy the confiscation orders.
“It is another success for the team – so the officers involved in the criminal trial succeeded in getting them jailed for a long time and now on top of that they also face having to repay a large sum of money – something that criminals really hate.
“Once Ali and Zaman repay this money some will go to the victims and the rest will be shared between the Ministry of Justice, the Crown Prosecution Service, HM Court Service, West Yorkshire Police and the Police and Crime Commissioner, who will reinvest these funds in supporting community projects and operational policing initiatives.”
Mark Burns-Williamson, West Yorkshire’s Police and Crime Commissioner, said: “West Yorkshire Police have done a fantastic job of ensuring crime didn’t pay for Ali and Zaman.
“Thanks to the hard work of the police and prosecutors some of this recovered money will now go towards my Safer Communities Fund which gives out grants of up to £5,000 to community projects.
“This money makes a real difference and goes towards initiatives such as safeguarding vulnerable people and tackling crime and anti-social-behaviour to name but a few.”