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pounds 30MILLION SEIZED OFF CRIMINALS; Cash grabs hit record.

Byline: Tom Hamilton

t.hamilton@dailyrecord.co.uk CRIMEBUSTERS are on target to claw back a record pounds 30million this year from gangsters, crooks and bent companies.

The figures were revealed by Scotland's top prosecutor, Lord Advocate Elish Angiolini, QC, yesterday.

She said: "It's a phenomenal amount and it shows proceeds of crime legislation is working and hits those engaged in criminal activities in the pocket.

"Quite often, the drug barons say they can do five years standing on their head. But this law deprives them of the profits, the power and the influence that motivates them and confiscation is hugely important in disrupting them."

The laws came in in 2003 and prosecutors had grabbed pounds 33million in total by the beginning of this financial year - a figure they expect to almost match by April.

Angiolini spoke out as engineering giants Weir Group were hit with a pounds 3million fine over corrupt contracts with Saddam Hussein. The fine came 24 hours after the firm had almost pounds 14million in profits and kickbacks from the illegal deals confiscated.

That brought this year's confiscation total to pounds 24 million - the highest since the legislation was introduced.

Angiolini said: "We are well on target to confiscate more than pounds 30million this year."

Substantial amounts are expected to be confiscated from Operation Trawler which trapped six quotabusting herring and mackerel skippers who illegally landed more than pounds 15million of 'black fish'.

And further confiscations from drug dealers are also expected by April The old record confiscation was pounds 6.5million taken from Moscow businessman Anatoly Kazachkov, 64, who was connected to a suspicious bank transfer from an account in Hungary to a Scottish bank.

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PRAISE: Angiolini
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Publication:Daily Record (Glasgow, Scotland)
Date:Dec 16, 2010
Words:284
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