An investigation by the Kent and Essex Serious Crime Directorate has led to the forfeiture of nearly £230,000.00.

As part of a complex investigation, skilled financial officers were able to navigate an intricate network of suspected fraudulent companies and bank accounts to trace the money.

Further investigation found that the person who held the account had fallen victim to a suspected organised crime network. The vulnerable victim had been unwittingly allowing deposits to be made in their name without knowledge of the amounts or where the money had come from, and this had built up to £229,547.55.

Money to be forfeited

Following this discovery, an application for the money to be forfeited on the grounds that it was likely to have been obtained through unlawful conduct, resulted in a hearing at Sevenoaks Magistrates’ Court on Thursday 4 January 2024 at which the application was granted.

The forfeiture was not contested by those involved.

Detective Inspector David Godfrey, of the Economic Crime Unit, said:

‘During the course of this investigation officers were able to uncover evidence that a vulnerable person had been taken advantage of and used to assist in potential criminality.

‘It was also clear that there was no verifiable evidence that there was a legitimate reason for how the money came to be in the located bank account.

‘Our financial investigators regularly use the Proceeds of Crime Act to ensure people are not allowed to benefit from illegal activity and to help reinforce the important message that crime does not pay.’

By Ed

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