A DRUG baron who was at the top of an international smuggling ring, responsible for importing millions of pounds worth of cannabis into the UK, has been ordered to pay £515,000 under the Proceeds of Crime Act.
Terence Conlon, from the Snitterfield area, was one of the leaders of an organised crime group, based in Warwickshire, Kent, Scotland and Southern Spain.
The group imported cannabis and cocaine into the UK between 2006 and 2009. The drugs were brought into the Warwickshire area before being re-distributed nationwide.
The 41 year-old is currently serving an eight year custodial sentence after pleading guilty to the industrial importation of cannabis between 2007 and 2009 prior to trial in 2013.
When he appeared at Wolverhampton Crown Court on Friday, the court heard Conlon had made £7.2 million through criminality. He was ordered to pay £515,000 within three months or receive a further three-and-half years to his sentence.
Operation Damascus, as the investigation was known, has been one of the longest drug investigations undertaken by Warwickshire Police – lasting nearly eight years. It involved more than 220 officers from eight police forces, supported by the Regional Organised Crime Unit (ROCU).
Acting Det Sgt Kris Shore, from the Serious and Organised Crime Unit of Warwickshire Police and West Mercia Police, said: “Warwickshire Police, West Mercia Police and the Regional Asset Recovery Team have worked tirelessly to disrupt this organised crime group.
“This result should send out a clear message to others involved in illegal activity that not only will they be put before the courts to pay for their crimes, we will also seize any ill-gotten gains in the process.
“We are committed not only to catching and convicting criminals but also to identifying and confiscating their assets.”
A total of ten people were jailed for 54 years as part of this investigation.