Northern Ireland

SOCA seizes city bar and house from cigarette accused

Serious Organised Crime Agency (SOCA)
Image caption The properties were seized by the Serious Organised Crime Agency

A house and a pub have been seized after two members of an east Belfast family defaulted on a legal settlement to hand over £250,000 in assets.

The Serious Organised Crime Agency was granted a High Court recovery order against bar owner Hugh Ludlow and his partner's daughter Shelley Anderson.

Civil proceedings were originally initiated by SOCA over allegations of cigarette smuggling.

The case was first referred to them by Revenue and Customs in 2005.

In February last year, SOCA was granted a consent order against Mr Ludlow, of Montrose Street, and Ms Anderson, from Millview Court, both in Belfast.

As part of the agreement, a newsagents on the city's Albertbridge Road and the contents of 11 bank accounts were to be forfeited immediately.

Another condition involved the payment of a sum of cash within a certain timescale.

A house in east Belfast and a pub on the Newtownards Road remained subject to a property freezing order until the terms of the settlement were met.

SOCA returned to court claiming that Mr Ludlow and Ms Anderson had defaulted on the resolution.

The agency said on Monday that a judge has now granted a recovery order against both properties.

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