The Asset Detention and Recovery Unit in GMP’s Economic Crime Unit have forfeited over £3 million this tax year from criminal’s pockets following 333 successful court forfeitures resulting in over £3,133,687.58 forfeited since April 2023.
The team are responsible for forfeiting cash through court once it has been seized by officers across the force, during warrants and routine stop searches. The team work on a balance of probability and will take a case to court when it is it more likely than not that the cash seized by officers has come from the profit of criminality.
Cash seizures come from a wide variety of crime types such as organised crime or from the profit of fraud or cash seizures from various places, officers have recovered cash hidden that had been hidden under mattresses, in cots and in oven hoods.
For example, £22,930.20 in cash was seized during Operation Falcon which is a Greater Manchester Police force wide initiative tackling the transfer of Criminal Proceeds across transport networks. Two men between the ages of 21 and 23 were stopped at Piccadilly Train Station by officers from Economic Crime Unit. A Louis Vuitton man-bag containing bundles of cash wrapped in rubber bands was seized and both men were arrested on suspicion of Money Laundering.
A further £18,310.00 worth of cash was found in a house in Beswick following a house search after an arrest for a routine shoplifting offence in Trafford. A 41-year old man was convicted of shoplifting after a number of high value bags and items were stolen from a store and the cash was forfeited by the Asset Detention and Recovery team.
This week, at Tameside Magistrates Court, the unit successfully forfeited 11 cases which pushed the total past £3 million which is made up of both £2,939,082.58 in cash and also listed assets cases which totalled £116,023.17 mainly made up from high value watches.
Detective Sergeant Sarah Langley of GMP’s Asset Detention and Recovery Unit, said: “It is really important that we highlight milestones like this, and we are really proud to be able to share this news with the people of Greater Manchester, we work hard to keep people safe and keep money away from the hands of criminals and into the pockets of organisations and charities through our ARIS funding scheme.
“The Asset Detention and Recovery Unit are a team of experts who conduct robust, proactive financial investigations and will use all available powers under the Proceeds of Crime Act. We will continue to strip away finances and ensure that criminals do not reap any form of benefit from committing crime in Greater Manchester. “
Detective Superintendent Paul Copplestone, who leads the Economic Crime Unit, said: “Our officers and staff within the unit continue to work hard to keep Greater Manchester safe, most of the work we do in the unit can take weeks, months and even years to reach a point where we can take the case to court and highlighting milestones like this is really important to us as we can showcase the diligent work that is going on behind the scenes in our unit every day.
“Criminals commit crime for their own gain and financial benefit. This is an important part of our criminal justice system which ensures we can give back to the community in one way or another.
“The money we recover is being used to help fight, prevent and reduce crime; keep people safe; and care for victims through the Asset Recovery Incentivisation Scheme (ARIS) which ultimately makes Greater Manchester a better place to live, work and visit.
“As we move into the New Year, our focus will remain on dismantling organised criminal finances and we will continue to work with the same momentum, seizing cash and assets from those who wish to harm our communities and we are asking the public to remain vigilant and if you see, or suspect something is wrong, tell us, and we can do something about it."
Anyone with concerns or information about suspicious financial activity, should report to police online, if able, at www.gmp.police.uk or via 101.
Always call 999 in an emergency. Details can be passed anonymously to the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.