Cannabis grower forced to pay over £15,000 from proceeds of his crimes
PUBLISHED: 15:16 16 October 2014 | UPDATED: 15:16 16 October 2014
When caught, he was found with 115 of the illegal plants
A cannabis grower has been ordered to pay back more than £15,000 which he gained from the sale of the drug in Gravesend.
Ian McLaran was found growing the drug when police raided his property in Cimba Wood, Gravesend, in April 2013. During the raid McLaran was found in the kitchen wearing latex gloves, a forensic suit and Wellington boots.
Also in the kitchen were cannabis plants, empty pots, ducting and growth chemicals. It was also established that the electricity meter had been bypassed, a practice often employed within cannabis factories.
The 44-year-old, of Cambridge Street, Pimlico, was caged at Maidstone Crown Court in July 2013. He received 34 months after pleading guilty to cultivating cannabis, abstracting electricity and possessing a weapon for the discharge of noxious liquid or gas.
At Maidstone Crown Court today (October 16), the Kent and Essex Serious Crime Directorate successfully made an application for a confiscation order under the Proceeds of Crime Act (POCA). If McLaran fails to pay the £15,220.19 within six months, he will remain in jail another 10 months.
Financial investigator Sam Holpin from the Kent and Essex Serious Crime Directorate said: “The lounge of the house had a tent with fans and lighting, and yet more cannabis plants. The upstairs of the house had three rooms - two of them fitted with tents, lighting and fans along with empty pots.
“In total 115 cannabis plants and £4,885 were recovered from this property, and others in London and Gravesend.”
Police forces can apply for a confiscation order under POCA at a crown court to deprive criminals of cash and other property accrued through criminal activity. Financial investigators look at bank accounts, houses, vehicles and valuables, even if legally held, to determine if these assets could be used to pay back the amount benefited from crime.