England

Jailed Middlesbrough drug grower must pay back £340,000

Leyakt Sajawal
Image caption Sajawal has a year to pay the money or he will serve another four years

A man jailed for turning disused probation offices into a cannabis farm has been ordered to pay back £340,000.

The North East Regional Asset Recovery Team (Nart) believes Leyakt Sajawal made £2m out of the Middlesbrough farm to fund a "lavish" lifestyle.

But the 36-year-old of Sheffield, was only ordered to pay £340,000 by Teesside Crown Court - all he has left.

Sajawal is serving four years for drug offences and will serve a further four years if he fails to pay.

Det Chief Insp Lisa Atkinson from Nart, said: "Sajawal played a key role in many criminal enterprises across the North East region and was even described in court as the 'regional manager'.

"He lived a lavish lifestyle; only possible due to the extent of his involvement in cannabis production."

Plant aroma

She said it had been a long and "arduous" case involving officers from Cleveland, South Yorkshire and North Yorkshire forces.

Sajawal, of St Lawrence Glebe, in Sheffield, has a year to pay the money back under the Proceeds of Crime Act or he will receive another prison sentence.

He admitted a charge of conspiring to produce cannabis when he appeared at Teesside Crown Court in 2009.

The hearing was told how the aroma of the 4,800 plants at the Longlands offices in Middlesbrough was so strong that they could be smelled in the street.

The farm was linked to others in Huddersfield and Sheffield.

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