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Last Updated: Wednesday, 13 October, 2004, 10:05 GMT 11:05 UK
Law hitting criminals 'in pocket'
Drugs suitcase
The law goes after drug dealers and fraudsters
Criminal assets worth nearly 800,000 have been seized from drug dealers, money launderers and fraudsters in the last six months.

Action taken by the Financial Crime Unit and the Civil Recovery Unit has also seen 17m worth of funds frozen.

The Proceeds of Crime Act allows funds to be targeted, even if there is no conviction. Almost 3m has been seized since April 2003.

Lord Advocate Colin Boyd said the law was hitting criminals "in the pocket".

Half the assets seized in Scotland stay in the country to be spent on initiatives which aim to aid communities damaged by drug dealers.

The Financial Crime Unit, which deals with the confiscation of the proceeds of crime following conviction, recouped 422,421 from convicted drug dealers, money launderers and fraudsters since April.

These figures show that we are making good on the promise to hit criminals where it hurts - in the pocket
Lord Advocate Colin Boyd
The Civil Recovery Unit seeks to recover property in the civil courts which is believed to be the proceeds of crime and 368,511 has been recovered in the past six months.

A total of 2.96m has been seized since the powers were introduced at the beginning of 2003.

The lord advocate said: "These figures show that we are making good on the promise to hit criminals where it hurts - in the pocket.

"Working with the police and other criminal justice agencies, the Financial Crime Unit and Civil Recovery Unit are making full use of their new, increased powers to systematically track down and recover the profits of crime."

The agencies work along with the Scottish Drugs Enforcement Agency, Scottish police forces and Customs and Excise.


SEE ALSO:
Half-yearly fraud figures soar
26 Jul 04  |  Scotland
Ambitious target on crime assets
08 Mar 04  |  Scotland
Record crime cash seizure made
25 Mar 04  |  Scotland
New rules tackle money laundering
01 Mar 04  |  Scotland
Courts seize criminals' assets
23 Nov 03  |  Scotland


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