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Mr BIGS CUT DOWN TO SIZE.

Byline: CHRIS McLAUGHLIN

A TOUGH supercop is to be given the task of smashing the criminal empires run by 400 "Mr Bigs" who stay one step ahead of the law.

The go-ahead for a new police squad called the Criminal Asset Recovery Agency (CARA) will be announced next week when Labour sets the agenda for its second term in power.

The supercop and his force have already been dubbed the Untouchables after Eliot Ness, the legendary U.S. lawman and his officers, who could not be corrupted.

CARA will be given powers to seize the assets of known crooks who have not been convicted. These Mr Bigs distance themselves from their crime rings, employ smart lawyers and intimidate potential witnesses.

Cash, homes and cars will be confiscated under the scheme which is similar to one in America used against Mafia bosses and where police recently confiscated pounds 7 million from one suspect. Home Secretary David Blunkett believes the new force will net up to pounds 50 million a year.

Police have been pressing for powers to enable them to target gangs such as the Adams of North London. Family member Tommy Adams was jailed in 1998 for organising an pounds 8 million-a-year cannabis dealing racket.

Crime boss John "Goldfinger" Palmer, recently jailed for eight years for his part in a pounds 32 million timeshare fraud, is another target.

The new agency will also have a hitlist of 370 regional crime barons who control drugs and burglary gangs.

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RACKET: Tommy Adams
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Publication:Sunday Mirror (London, England)
Date:Jun 17, 2001
Words:252
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