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Welsh ‘crime pays’ drug gang busted after making millions have luxury sports cars seized

‘At that time his private number plate had the words ‘Crime Pays’, something which I’m sure he now regrets’

Neil FetherstonhaughSunday World

A Welsh drug gang who drove around in luxury sports cars with number plates declaring 'crime pays' after making millions have had some of their ill-gotten gains confiscated.

Leon Ley (34), Dale Martin (28) and Daniel Harris (40) were part of an organised crime group which trafficked an estimated 50kg of cocaine from London to Wales.

The three were handed a combined 40-year jail sentence in 2021 but the case was back in Swansea Crown Court for a proceeds of crime hearing, where some of their assets were confiscated.

These included a yellow Lamborghini and a Range Rover as well as luxury caravans and cash. As part of their investigation police recovered number plates from one carrying the slogan "crime pays".

One of the seized assets...a yellow Lambo

A Proceeds of Crime Act hearing Swansea Crown Court was told the gang from the city had collectively made £6,018,395.85 in proceeds from their criminal behaviour.

As none of the men had this amount available for repayment, they were ordered to pay a total of £267,957.06 to make up for their activities.

The hearing, the latest linked to the Operation Tilbury investigation, considered the three men from Swansea were part of a county lines criminal gang which sold illegal drugs.

South Wales Police say they expect additional confiscations will take place, with a final confiscation matter still pending with an anticipated benefit of £798,928.15 and additional recoverable assets of £264,501.56.

Jo Williams, South Wales Police’s financial investigator who secured the orders, said: "This result shows the fantastic work carried out by the Economic Crime Unit who have supported the investigation of Op Tilbury.

A Range Rover was also seized

“The suspects were convicted previously and received substantial sentences, so to follow on with this incredible level of orders under the Proceeds of Crime Act is fantastic and really moves towards disrupting organised crime groups.

"We also secured an image of the number plate Daniel Harris was using back in 2011 when he was subject of another investigation, Operation Cougar. As can be seen, at that time his private number plate had the words ‘Crime Pays’, something which I’m sure he now regrets.”

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