Suffolk: Drug dealer must repay nearly £500k after storing large stash of cannabis near Highpoint prison

Ipswich Crown Court

Ipswich Crown Court - Credit: Archant

A Suffolk drug dealer who stored a large stash of cannabis at is home near a Suffolk prison has been ordered to hand over nearly £500,000.

Hanif Shakeri was told to repay the money which was deemed proceeds of crime after Suffolk Constabulary’s financial investigation unit discovered he had paid £450,000 in cash for land and barn conversion. He had previously been claiming benefits for three years.

The 26-year-old was jailed for 12 months at Ipswich Crown Court in November last year after being convicted of possession cannabis with intent to supply, money laundering, and careless driving.

As a result of Shakeri’s arrest a restraint order was made on his property at Home Farm, Edmunds Hill, Stradishall, which is just over two miles from Highpoint prison.

Now, following a three-day Proceeds of Crime hearing at Ipswich Crown Court, Shakeri has been ordered to pay £455,794 as part of a confiscation order or face a further four years’ imprisonment.

After the hearing Andy Gould of the Norfolk and Suffolk Joint Economic Crime Unit said: “This represents a highly satisfactory outcome and is in no small way attributable to the thorough and painstaking work of our specialist financial investigator in this case.

“He undertook an incredibly innovative piece of financial investigation where he was often required to operate in unfamiliar areas from an investigative perspective.

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“This case once more firmly underlines our determination to ensure that those persons in our communities across Norfolk and Suffolk who seek to profit from crime, will be targeted by our investigators and stripped of the assets they have gathered as a direct result of their involvement in those activities “

Shakeri was arrested in November 2011 after a car chase culminated with police finding cannabis with a potential street value of nearly £100,000 when they searched farm buildings belonging to him.

Officers pursued Shakeri into a car park on a business centre after he failed to stop when they activated the blue flashing light on their vehicle.

During the chase two police cars were damaged and when officers searched Shakeri’s car they discovered a small amount of cannabis and £2,000 cash in a glove compartment.

Officers who went to Home Farm discovered cannabis in a caravan as well as seven mobile phones, four sets of scales and a number of clear plastic bags.

A search of barns at the premises resulted in the discovery of £2,300 cash and further cannabis with a total weight of 10kg.