Court Result

Jailed Surrey man ordered to pay back thousands in criminal gains

A 52-year-old man from Surrey already serving 10 years in jail for importing cannabis has been ordered to pay back thousands, after investigations found he had earned nearly £4 million through criminal activity.

Michael Rhodes of Alexandra Road, Addlestone, was ordered to pay back £11,105 following a Proceeds of Crime Act (POCA) hearing at Guildford Crown Court on Friday, 13 December.

He had previously pleaded guilty in April to importing cannabis resin, after a lorry was stopped by Border Force officers in August 2016 at the Port of Dover and found to contain Cannabis resin worth £2.1m.

A subsequent investigation by the South East Regional Organised Crime Unit (SEROCU) found that Rhodes had benefitted by £3,852,000 from his crimes.

If he doesn’t pay the money within three months, Rhodes will face a further seven months in prison.

Whilst I appreciate the amount may seem small given the scale of Rhodes’ crimes, this is the first step in claiming back his criminal earnings and we will continue to investigate the rest of the money. It also ensures that Rhodes will be stripped of some of the profit he made from his crimes.

We utilise every opportunity to use POCA to take back money from criminals, which can then be used to compensate victims. The legislation also allows us to continue our enquiries and, if further assets are identified, these can go towards paying the disparity between the confiscation order and any criminal benefit.

Senior Financial Investigator David Chave, from SEROCU’s Regional Economic Crime Unit