Limo boss must pay £350k drug assets

The disgraced boss of a York limousine firm could face business ruin after being ordered to pay back more than £350,000 of the cash he pocketed from cocaine-dealing.

Jailed drugs kingpin Dave Black has been given six months to repay the riches he made from his cocaine dealing, the highest confiscation of money earned from crime ever secured by North Yorkshire Police.

Black, 50, formerly of Landalewood Road, Clifton Moor, is serving a ten-year prison sentence after a raid on his home in 2008 uncovered his pivotal role in a cocaine-supplying conspiracy hidden behind the façade of his business. After the chauffeur company owner was led away grinning from York Crown Court yesterday following the £354,500 seizure order, one of his friends said it would “cripple” his finances, estimated at about £400,000, and place the future of his company in jeopardy.

Two vehicles – a Hummer and a “mobile nightclub” – have already been seized from Black. If Black, described as the “main player” and the “money man” behind the drugs network, does not come up with the cash within the six months set by the court, he faces having three-and-a-half years added to his jail term without the chance of parole.

Recorder Mark Bury ordered Black to stay in handcuffs throughout the hearing following reports to York Police from a “credible source” that there could be an escape attempt.

Black sat silently in the dock during the hearing but grinned and gave the thumbs up to friends in the public gallery as he was led back down.

Tim Capstick, for the Crown Prosecution Service, said Black’s right-hand man, drug courier Vincent Querishi, made 70 drug trafficking trips between January 12 and May 9, 2008, with an average of £3,150 of Class A narcotics being ferried each time – a total of £225,000.

The judge ruled Black had benefited by a further £134,000 from general criminal conduct.

Black was convicted in May last year following a 12-month police investigation. He denied the drug dealing but a York jury convicted him.

Black’s sentencing followed the convictions of Querishi and Lee Hayward, who stored the narcotics, and were jailed for four years and three-and-a half-years respectively.

Police financial experts investigated Black’s finances and a restraint order was put in place preventing him from disposing of any assets he may have used illegally-earned cash to pay for. This included a house, bank accounts, and numerous high-value vehicles.

Detective Inspector Ian Wills, Head of North Yorkshire Police’s financial investigation unit, said: “This is a major success for North Yorkshire Police, not only in securing the conviction of a man who orchestrated a large drug-dealing operation, but it also demonstrates that we have the capacity and capability to vigorously pursue and confiscate those assets obtained through criminality.

“It sends a very clear message to the criminal world that not only will they face the full force of the law, but we will use the Proceeds of Crime Act to its full potential to hit them where it hurts the most – their pocket.”

Source: York Press

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