County’s crooks are stripped of £1million


More than £1 million has been taken from criminals in Derbyshire during the last year under the Proceeds of Crime Act.

Latest figures show that between April 1, 2013, and the end of March, 2014, almost £20,000 a week in cash and other assets were removed from crooks.

The largest single amount was seized from Thi Cuc Le and her husband Hong Hai Lam, each jailed for five years in November, 2012, and ordered to pay back £452,193 in for running cannabis factories in four counties. They were arrested in 2011 after police discovered a cannabis factory containing more than 400 plants at a house in Victoria Street, South Normanton.

Assets totalling £870,027 were confiscated after crown court hearings in 57 separate cases under the Proceeds of Crime Act and £131,223 was forfeited after 44 separate hearings at the magistrates’ court. Money confiscated by the crown court is shared between a central Home Office fund, the Crown Prosecution Service, the Court Services and the investigating agency, such as the police or Trading Standards. Cash has been pumped into schemes like CCTV for Buxton’s Pavilion Gardens, Bradwell Youth Group, a five-a-side football project in Chesterfield and High Peak Women’s Aid.