Criminal hid £93k in a pizza delivery bag
An apparently routine investigation into an alleged theft led police to a £93,000 stash of bank notes hidden in a pizza delivery bag.
The cash, which was hidden in the attic of the suspect's Leicester home, was confiscated after he failed to convince a court it had been earned legitimately.
It contributed to the £1.3 million in money, goods and assets seized by Leicestershire Police last year from criminals.
The force's economic crime unit confiscated houses, diamonds, gold, designer clothing and a number of top-of-the-range cars under the Proceeds of Crime Act in 2012.
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The money was linked to crimes such as drug dealing, money laundering, fraud and robbery.
Detective Chief Inspector Chris Baker, who leads the force's serious and organised crime team, said: "Leicestershire police will not tolerate people profiting from crime.
"The orders we have secured in the past 12 months are testament to officers' hard work and dedication.
"As a result, we have ensured criminals have been deprived of more than £1 million worth of ill-gotten gains."
Officers yesterday highlighted some of their major successes.
Another £19,000 was taken from a Leicester man who was intercepted at Birmingham Airport. He was also unable to convince a court the money was legitimate.
Other cases dealt with by the team included drug dealer Rhahinur Rashid, then 23, of Coventry Road, Hinckley, who admitted selling cannabis in June last year.
He was jailed for 18 months.
Police then successfully applied to the court for the confiscation of £7,880.
Convicted drug dealer Ben Shardlow was ordered to forfeit almost £1,180 after a court heard he had a luxury lifestyle financed by cocaine sales.
Officers found designer clothes, electrical goods and cash in Shardlow's home in Palmer Road, Hinckley.
Shardlow, who was 28 at the time, admitted supplying cocaine and possessing it with intent to supply, in June last year.
In September, police placed an Audi R8 in an auction. The car sold for £70,000 – which has now been paid into public funds.
The car had cost its owner, Rubin Maxwell, of Sapcote, £95,000 two years earlier.
It was confiscated by a court when warehouse worker Maxwell failed to explain how he paid for it or other luxury goods worth an estimated £30,000 in his home.
Cash and assets seized under the Proceeds of Crime Act are paid back to victims of crime where they can be identified.
If no victim can be identified, the money is paid over to the Government, with a proportion going back to the Crown Prosecution Service, Her Majesty's Courts and Tribunals Service and police.
Leicestershire sells some of the recovered items on eBay.