Family hands over criminal assets worth over £8 million
The National Crime Agency (NCA) has recovered a vast property portfolio from a family that dealt Class A drugs and committed mortgage fraud.
The properties, including a villa in Tenerife and 16 addresses in and around Bath, Somerset, worth up to £8.1 million, were recovered following a civil recovery and tax investigation.
The NCA action, in conjunction with Avon and Somerset Constabulary, was taken against four members of the same family – Shane Davies, his wife Rhianna, mother Sheila and sister Tracey – who conceded the assets derived from the proceeds of unlawful conduct.
The property portfolio was acquired between 1998 and 2007 and generated rental and commercial income of more than £2 million between 2004 and 2009 alone.
It included a seven-bedroom converted barn and mill in Norton St Philip, which on a holiday lettings website boasted an indoor swimming pool, jacuzzi and five bathrooms.
Also recovered was an 18th Century Georgian townhouse in Bath, which operated as the Roman City Guest House, and the former Midford telephone repeater station.
The family also agreed to pay back £368,000 of rental income accrued from property lettings and the NCA recovered a Range Rover Evoque after the family was unable to substantiate their claim that funds used to purchase the assets were the result of “gifts”.
Investigators believe the portfolio was acquired through mortgage fraud and the sale of controlled drugs.
Andy Lewis, NCA Head of Asset Denial, said: “This investigation has identified unlawfully-held assets worth millions of pounds.
“The Canary Islands holiday home and prestige vehicle represent the obvious trappings of wealth, but equally important is the recovery of numerous commercial and residential properties, which will otherwise have continued to generate substantial revenue that the defendants were not entitled to.”
“It is vital to the UK’s economic wellbeing that assets are held legitimately, and the NCA is determined to recover property acquired through the proceeds of serious and organised crime.”
Avon and Somerset Constabulary Detective Sergeant Gareth Kitchener said: “This is a fantastic result that is testament to the tenacity of the NCA investigators who took this case forward. It demonstrates that civil recovery powers are an extremely powerful tool in the fight against organised crime.”