Police seize dead lorry driver's £1.3m


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The Independent Online

A judge has ordered the seizure of £1.3 million in cash which was found in a bedroom by detectives investigating the death of a lorry driver.

West Midlands Police said the forfeiture under the Proceeds of Crime Act - relating to cash found in Highley, Shropshire - was the highest ever achieved by the force.

Despite criminal proceedings in relation to the massive cash haul being dropped, the West Midlands Police Economic Crime Unit lodged an application for its seizure.

A Crown Court judge has now accepted that the money found in December 2010 at the home of a 56-year-old man should be considered to be the proceeds of haulage theft.

Officers discovered the cash after executing a search warrant at an address in Highley in connection with the theft of televisions worth £250,000 from a lorry in the Black Country in November 2010.

The driver was found dead in the Dudley area, having suffered a suspected heart attack, and nine men were later convicted of offences linked to the robbery.

Detective Sergeant Jonathan Jones, of the Economic Crime Unit, said of the court ruling: "This is an excellent outcome and demonstrates that police, supported by the courts, will use the Proceeds of Crime Act to confiscate any assets that have been obtained by criminal activity."