Bolton drug dealer’s empire crumbles as police order him to repay £200,000 of ill-gotten gains

By Pippa Field

An imprisoned Bolton drug-dealer was ordered to pay back almost £200,000 in assets at the conclusion of a 15-month confiscation investigation yesterday.

Imran Mohammed Afzal, 31, of Pirendale Rise, Bolton, had already been sentenced to three-and-a-half years in prison for drug dealing and money laundering.

But at the final Proceeds of Crime Act hearing at Bolton Crown Court yesterday, it was decided Afzal would pay back £191,000 of assets.

These included two houses in Bolton, three cars, the contents of three bank accounts, an expensive Breitling watch as well as cash totalling £23,000.

Detective chief inspector Sarah Jackson, of Bolton CID, praised the work of the confiscation investigation for pinning down the individual in question.

“Once again we have been able to dismantle the vast majority of a drug dealer’s empire,” she said.

“Afzal must have felt he was above the law and no doubt enjoyed the trappings of his criminal lifestyle.

“Now he must reflect on the fact that he is not only serving some serious time in jail, but when he comes out will be left with few remnants of his criminality.”

Afzal was originally sentenced to 18 months in prison after being arrested in August 2011 for a drug deal in Seymour Road, Astley Bridge.

Subsequent searches of his home after his arrest also revealed further drugs valued at £14,000 and cash totally £23,000.

The following POCA investigation proved that money paid towards a number of bank accounts, a house and three vehicles had come from Afzal’s drug dealing.

He had managed to disguise his drug monies by using his wife’s name on a number of the accounts.

The drug dealer also registered her name for the four bedroom detached house and two of three vehicles, including a BMW X5.

In December 2012, Afzal was sentenced to a further two years in prison after pleading guilty at Bolton Crown Court to money laundering.

Yesterday’s final hearing proved he had made £229,372 from his dealing and the order for asset repayment was made.

Failure to repay in full could see Afzal face a further 30 months in prison on top of his existing sentence.

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