Former member of cocaine supply gang which operated in Suffolk ordered to pay back £20k

Martyn Hart was sentenced at Ipswich Crown Court. Picture: SIMON PARKER

Martyn Hart was sentenced at Ipswich Crown Court. Picture: SIMON PARKER - Credit: Archant

A former member of a so-called “untouchable” gang which attempted to deal large quantities of cocaine across Suffolk and Cambridgeshire has been ordered to pay back more than £20,000 or face further jail time.

The seven-strong gang – three of which were based in Haverhill at the time – were sentenced to a total of 33 years between them following a 2008 investigation named Operation Wager.

Officers from Suffolk, Cambridgeshire and the Metropolitan Police worked together over ten months to gain sufficient evidence against the drug suppliers.

Ryan Eggo, 31, of Girton, Cambridgeshire, played a key role in the distribution chain and received a five-year prison sentence in 2009 when he and his co-defendants pleaded guilty at Ipswich Crown Court.

Following his sentence, Suffolk’s financial investigation unit completed a Proceeds of Crime Act (POCA) investigation, which resulted in a confiscation order being granted against Eggo for £4,416.

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However, his benefit from crime was set at £470,496, which meant investigators could revisit the order if Eggo was found to have acquired any new assets.

Last summer, the Eastern Region Special Operations Unit’s (ERSOU) Asset Confiscation Team (ACE) team was made aware Eggo had come into some money, so launched a new investigation.

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Reports of their findings were presented to the Crown Prosecution Service, and the new assets were restrained under an order granted at Ipswich Crown Court.

On January 22, the original confiscation order was uplifted by £20,000, which would need to be paid, or he would face a term of imprisonment in default. Eggo has subsequently satisfied the order.

Nick Bentley, ACE team manager, said: “This action against Ryan Eggo demonstrates that we will pursue criminals to recover whatever a court has determined to be the benefit from their crimes.

“If you believe someone subject to a confiscation order has expensive assets, and is displaying a wealthy lifestyle, I would encourage you to call Crimestoppers. I can assure you the authorities will investigate.”

Monies recovered under the Proceeds of Crime Confiscation regime will be paid to the government initially, then sums may be distributed to victims of crime, police forces or used within community projects.

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