Court orders dealer to hand over £35,000

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A DRUG dealer who described himself as being a “go-between” for the trade has had £35,000 confiscated from him under the Proceeds of Crime Act.

At Edinburgh Sheriff Court yesterday, a confiscation order for £35,000 was made against Matthew Muir.

Muir, from Edinburgh, had previously pleaded guilty to being concerned in the supply of cocaine. He was sentenced to 300 hours of community service.

Police officers carried out a search of addresses associated with Muir at Easter Hermitage, Prospect Bank Gardens, and Prospect Bank Road, all Edinburgh, on January 15, 2010.

Within the property at Prospect Bank Gardens controlled drugs valued at between £26,820 and £29,360 were recovered.

Muir admitted ownership of the drugs and advised officers that he had received the drugs from another and that he was to deliver them to other individuals.

Lindsey Miller, head of the Serious and Organised Crime Division and the current Proceeds of Crime Act (POCA) champion, said: “Matthew Muir was convicted of dealing a large amount of cocaine.

“His position when arrested was that he was effectively a “go-between”, receiving the drugs from one individual to deliver to another.

“Drug trafficking, however it manifests itself, is a ‘lifestyle offence’ under the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002. This means that the court is entitled to look at all an accused person’s income from the six years preceding the arrest. In this case Matthew Muir could not provide the court with a legitimate source for £35,000 of his ‘income’.

“This confiscation order demonstrates the disruptive effect of POCA. Any conviction for drug trafficking – no matter the extent of someone’s involvement in it – opens the door to a detailed financial investigation and can result, with a confiscation order for a significant sum of money.”

Money recovered under POCA is invested in projects aimed at alleviating the effects of crime.