Confiscation order made against Evans couple

20/12/2012

A Bedfordshire couple have been ordered to pay back more than £500,000 after a Proceeds of Crime Act hearing in Luton Crown Court.

George Evans, 76, of High Road, Beeston, Sandy, is serving an 18 year prison sentence for conspiracy to supply class A drugs and money laundering. His wife, Anne, 55, of the same address, was sentenced to 18 months in prison for her part in the money laundering offences.  They were sentenced for the offences at Luton Crown Court in September this year.

However, last Friday, 14 December 2012, Luton Crown Court also heard the Crown's application for the substantial assets they had accrued from the crimes to be handed over to the state.

The court agreed that George Evans had benefited from crime to the tune of £1,119,507.92 and the cashable assets still available from this illicit income was £246,426.81. If he does not pay this full amount from the assets currently under restraint by the police, he will spend a further three years in prison.

Anne Evans was judged to have benefited to the tune of £388,514.91 and the amount available to be retained by the state would be £259,684.86. Again, if she fails to repay this, she will spend a further three years in prison.

The Evans' house in Beeston, their Rolls Royce, and other assets, which are currently under restraint will now be sold. Some of the money will be returned directly to Bedfordshire Police to fund further community and crime-fighting initiatives. The rest is returned to the Treasury or shared amongst other agencies who contributed to the prosecution, such as the Crown Prosecution Service.

George Evans was the owner of a Ford Ranger pick up truck which had custom-made metal smuggling compartments built into the cargo space in order to hide 1kg blocks of cocaine. The truck, driven by an unsuspecting third party, was stopped in November 2009 on its way back through France from Girona in Spain, with a cover story of carrying aircraft parts out to the continent.

However, on close examination the compartments contained 29kg of high-purity cocaine with a street value of £3million.

Bedfordshire Police were notified of the find and began a covert investigation into Evans' affairs. The Evans' were living in a large house in Beeston which they had purchased in their joint names for £410,000 cash a few months previously. But given neither had a declared income other than state benefits and had been made bankrupt only a couple of years earlier, the source of the money required to buy and fund their lifestyle seemed highly suspicious.