THE ill-gotten gains of a local drug dealer are being partly repaid to the community.
Personal attack alarms, bike marking kits and catalytic converter marking kits were recently available at the ‘Pride in Biggleswade’ event, courtesy of George Evans who is serving 18 years in prison for smuggling huge amounts of cocaine into Britain.
International drug smuggler Evans, 76, from High Road, Beeston, was jailed last year, along with his 55-year-old wife Anne who was convicted of money laundering and given 18 months in jail. They were ordered to repay assets which were said to have come from the proceeds of drug dealing and money laundering.
The assets were formally confiscated by the state in December last year, and some of the £500,000 that the courts have ordered the couple to pay back will be given to Bedfordshire Police to fund crime-fighting measures in the county.
The first benefit to the community came with the marking kits and alarms being given away in the Market Place.
Also on display at the event was George Evans’ gold Rolls Royce, one of the assets confiscated along with their £400,000 house and large chunks of cash. The car is now property of Bedfordshire Police and eventually will be sold to fund further community and crime prevention projects.
However, the 6.3litre Silver Spirit will first be used to emphasise the point about crime not paying by being put on display around the county complete with temporary signage bearing the words “This used to be a drug dealer’s car, now it’s ours!”
Chief Insp Shane Roberts, (pictured) led Operation Droxford, which was the enquiry into George and Anne Evans, during his last job as head of the Financial Investigation Unit. His current post sees him as head of local policing for the Central Bedfordshire area.
He said: “Drugs wreck lives and blight communities so I’m delighted to have been able to combine the original global investigation with this superb local initiative and pay back these assets in a positive way to members of the public.
“It is inconceivable in my mind that criminals should ever be able to leave the justice system still in possession of the proceeds from their crimes. It sends out the wrong message. The only message criminals need to understand is that our teams will relentlessly pursue you until we have identified and confiscated everything you have. In Evans’ case it’s their money, cars and house.”