Glasgow & West Scotland

Largest crime cash seizure made

money generic
Image caption More than £19.5m has been invested as part of POCA legislation

Law officers have recovered more than £200,000 using proceeds of crime legislation in what is the largest case of its kind in Scotland.

The cash was seized after Strathclyde Police stopped a car during a drugs investigation in June.

Although no drugs were found in the vehicle, 47-year-old driver Christopher Cummins was "unwilling or unable" to explain the £200,191 in his possession.

He later failed to appear at a court hearing in Hamilton to defend the case.

Lord Advocate Elish Angiolini said: "Prior to the inception of the Proceeds of Crime legislation, we would have been powerless in cases such as this and would have had no choice but to return the money to the driver of the vehicle."

'Insufficient evidence'

The case against Mr Cummins, from Glasgow, called at Hamilton Sheriff Court on 15 September.

He did not appear and the case was undefended.

There is a period of 30 days after the ruling during which time the defender can appeal. No appeal was lodged in this case.

Ms Angiolini added: "This is a case that clearly demonstrates the effectiveness and versatility of the POCA legislation and yet again proves that it is an invaluable tool in the fight against serious and organised crime.

"Although there was insufficient evidence to justify criminal proceedings against the driver, he did not defend the case and offered no explanation as to the source of the funds.

"The court was satisfied that the money was not obtained lawfully."

Money recovered under the Proceeds of Crime Act is invested by the Scottish government in community projects aimed at alleviating the effects of crime.

To date £19.5m has been invested.

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