Drug gang leader from Hitchin who used cocaine profits to fund trips to Paris, New York and Jamaica ordered to pay back £500,000 proceeds of crime
- Credit: Archant
A Hitchin man who used the proceeds of a cocaine and cannabis empire to fund trips to Paris, New York and Jamaica has had a confiscation order made against him for half a million pounds.
Christopher ‘Mouse’ Collins supplied class A and class B drugs in Stevenage, other parts of North Herts and in Luton, and was sentenced to 12 years in prison in April last year.
Following a financial investigation by a police team in the Eastern Region Special Operations Unit, a confiscation order has been made under the Proceeds of Crime Act allowing for the seizure of assets up to the value of £500,000.
The 30-year-old has so far been ordered to pay £26,000 – the total sum of his present assets – but the outstanding balance will remain against him for the rest of his life.
Fourteen other members of the gang – including former British and Commonwealth boxing champion Graham Earl, as well as others from Hitchin, Stevenage, Letchworth and Luton – have also had confiscation orders made against them, totalling £400,000. They were jailed for a total of more than 50 years a year ago.
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Asset recovery team leader Paul Fitzsimmons said: “Collins was the head of a serious organised crime group operating out of North Hertfordshire, and during the time his drugs business was operating he benefitted substantially.
“He used the profits made from pedalling dangerous drugs to vulnerable people to fund his lavish lifestyle, buying expensive cars and paying for trips to Paris, New York, and Jamaica.
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“As well as a hefty prison sentence, it was important that Collins would be made to really pay for his actions, so we’re pleased to have been able to secure this order against him.
“This is a great example of how crime never pays. We will always endeavour to do our utmost to retrieve ill-gotten gains from criminals such as this and this should act as a deterrent to anyone who thinks that illegal activity is a good way to make a profit.”