Cannabis gang ordered to pay back £290,000

Shakeel Afsar
Shakeel Afsar
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A FAMILY-RUN cannabis production gang have been ordered to pay back more than £290,000.

Shakeel Afsar (far right), of Moor Way, Swallownest was ordered to pay back £278,400 he was adjudged to have accumulated through the cultivation of cannabis and money laundering, at a court hearing last week.

Praphatsorn Wacharaluecha

Praphatsorn Wacharaluecha

The 31-year-old, who is currently serving a four year sentence for the offences, has been ordered to pay back the money in six months.

If he fails to do so then he will have to serve another three years in prison.

At a confiscation hearing earlier in the year Shakeel Afsar’s partner Praphatsorn Wacharaluecha (right), 28, also from Moor Way, Swallownest, was ordered to pay back £10,875. His brother, Shabbir Afsar, 30, from Industry Road, Darnall, was ordered to pay back £932. Both are also serving prison sentences of 15 months and three years respectively for the same offences. The extent of the trio’s criminal gains was discovered following a complaint of assault in December 2008 that led officers to search an address linked to Shakeel Afsar.

The search uncovered a quantity of cash and cannabis plants. Searches of two further properties followed and larger quantities of cash and more cannabis plants were recovered.

After the three were sentenced a confiscation investigation under the Proceeds of Crime Act (2002) began that resulted in £290,207 being recovered.

Some of the monies recovered through the Proceeds of Crime Act goes directly back into the community. It is used to fund a number of community initiatives through the South Yorkshire Community Foundation.

Graham Wragg, head of South Yorkshire Police economic crime unit, said: “Criminals who profit from crime will be made to pay back that profit or face further terms of imprisonment. In this respect their debt to society will remain with them for life or until they have repaid it.”