Drugs baron finds out crime doesn’t pay

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A man who used the profits of his drugs business to travel the world has had a confiscation order made against him for half a million pounds.

Christopher Collins, 30, from Hitchin, led a drugs empire supplying class A and class B drugs in Luton, North Hertfordshire and Stevenage.

Following a court case in April 2015 in which he was sentenced to 12 years in prison, a financial investigation was carried out by the Regional Economic Crime Unit at the Eastern Region Special Operations Unit (ERSOU).

As a result, a confiscation order under the Proceeds of Crime Act has been made which allows for the seizure of assets up to the value of £500,000.

So far Collins has been ordered to pay back £26,000, the total sum of his assets available currently.

However, the outstanding balance will remain against him for the rest of his life and if further assets are identified or become available then the team will take steps to confiscate them.

Paul Fitzsimmons, Asset Recovery Team Leader for ERSOU, said: “Collins was the head of a serious organised crime group operating out of North Hertfordshire, and during the time his drugs business was operating he benefitted substantially. He used the profits made from pedalling dangerous drugs to vulnerable people to fund his lavish lifestyle, buying expensive cars and paying for trips to Paris, New York, and Jamaica. ”

Fifteen other members of the drugs gang have also had confiscation orders made against them totalling £400,000. The group were jailed for more than 50 years in total last April.

Mr Fitzsimmons continued: “This is a great example of how crime never pays.

“We will always endeavour to do our utmost to retrieve ill-gotten gains from criminals such as this and this should act as a deterrent to anyone who thinks that illegal activity is a good way to make a profit.”