Benefits from confiscated proceeds of crime revealed

SUPPORT for drug addicts, the new police station and a portable building for Customs are among the initiatives and projects Jersey has spent millions of pounds of seized criminal cash on over the past decade, according to a freedom of information request.

The new £24 million police station was subsidised to the tune of £14.7 million by the Confiscation Fund
The new £24 million police station was subsidised to the tune of £14.7 million by the Confiscation Fund

Since 2010 more than £32.25 million has been used from the Criminal Offences Confiscation Fund on various projects to offset the cost to the taxpayer.

Projects have included:

  • £14.7 million on the new £24 million police station.

  • £117,849 on body-worn cameras for police officers.

  • Almost £300,000 on various drug support programmes such as needle bins, opiate-substitution programmes and parental advice booklets.

  • About £720,000 on updating CCTV.

  • About £10 million for costs involved in court cases paid to the Law Officers’ Department, Bailiff’s Chambers, Home Affairs Department and Viscount’s office.

  • £117,000 on a portable building for Customs at the Harbour.

  • £1.2 million on Magistrate’s Court building and staff costs.

There is currently about £8.1 million in the fund, which is available to use in the Island. A total of £6.5 million of that is earmarked in 2018’s Budget for a major project at HMP La Moye which involves building a new gatehouse and offices.

Money confiscated from drug gangs, mules and dealers, as well as other criminals who are sentenced locally, is held in the fund.

However, a proportion of funds seized from criminals convicted in other jurisdictions – often where Jersey authorities have aided an investigation by helping to release dirty money hidden in the Island – is also paid in.

Recently the COCF received £2.8 million after the Law Officers’ Department helped to recover part of drug-criminal mastermind Paul Edward Hindelang’s fortune, which was hidden in Jersey. Hindelang made hundreds of millions of dollars smuggling cannabis from Colombia to the United States in the 1970s.

A spokesman for the Island’s Law Officers’ Department said the figures released in the freedom of information request demonstrate the Island’s commitment to tackling financial crime.

‘The results often follow years of painstaking work with law-enforcement agencies from around the world, and show the determination of Jersey and the international law-enforcement agencies to bring successful conclusions to these cases, even when it may take many years to do so.

‘As the Attorney General frequently states, these cases serve to highlight the close collaboration of the Jersey authorities with international law-enforcement agencies, Jersey’s staunch commitment to fighting financial crime and that no matter what structure is used, Jersey is no place to hide the proceeds of crime.’

Between 2004 and 2017 £62.87 million has been paid into the fund. However, a large proportion of that money – £43.54 million – was paid in subject to asset-sharing proportions being decided, meaning Jersey will have shared the money with another jurisdiction.

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