Drugs gang ordered to hand over £3m ill-gotten gains

Mawsley man Ravi Kotecha, a member of a drugs gang which has been ordered to hand over �3 million in ill-gotten gains
Mawsley man Ravi Kotecha, a member of a drugs gang which has been ordered to hand over �3 million in ill-gotten gains
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A convicted drugs gang including Kettering and Mawsley men has to pay back nearly £3 million of their criminal proceeds.

Northampton Crown Court Judge Richard Bray, has ordered the gang to pay back a total of £2,824,184 they made from selling class A and B drugs.

The gang was arrested after a police investigation in 2011.

The total street value of the drugs was estimated to be about £4.5million. The gang were originally sentenced in March 2011.

Amit Kotecha, 34, from Chambers Hill, Mawsley, had been sentenced to 18 years. The sentence was later reduced on appeal to 15 years.

His brother Ravi Kotecha, 29, from Chambers Hill, Mawsley, was sentenced to 21 years. This was later reduced to 17 years.

Freshkumar Kakkad, 49, from Cambium Close, Kettering, was sentenced to 21 years. This was later reduced to 17 years.

The Kotecha brothers must pay the money back within six months or risk an additional six years in prison. Kakkad risks another three-and-a-half years in prison.

Rohit Suvania, 33, from Mitchell Street, Kettering, received 18 years in prison. This was later reduced to 14 years.

All four men had been sentenced for conspiracy to supply controlled drugs.

Viktor Maksimov, 57, from Lithuania, was the lorry driver. He was sentenced to 15 years in prison, having been found guilty of importing cocaine.

Ismail Patel, 43, from St. Saviours Road, Leicester, who was connected to the gang but sentenced separately for money laundering offences, was sentenced to 12 months.

From the money confiscated from Patel, £13,766 is to be paid in compensation to a victim of crime.

Police and Crime Commissioner Adam Simmonds, said: “This is a fantastic result for us. Especially as we are able to actually provide a victim of crime with compensation from the assets we have confiscated.

“Not only will we go after those who commit crime in our county, but we will also go after their assets and ill-gotten gains.

“We have a successful scheme in place where community groups can apply for grants from money seized through POCA. This allows us to give back to the communities what criminals have taken. Details on how to apply for a grant can be found at www.northantspcc.org.uk.”

Rankin McCarrick, financial investigator for Northamptonshire Police, said: “Since the sentencing in 2011, a detailed investigation has taken place by our financial investigation unit to identify the defendants’ assets.

“It has been a long and very difficult investigation as they went to great lengths to hide their assets.

“This has been a great result for us. Not only did we get successful prosecutions in 2011, removing harmful drugs from the distribution network and off our streets, but we have now shown we will continue to identify and confiscate the criminal assets to ensure crime doesn’t pay.”

The proceeds of crime act hearing took place last Wednesday, 25 September.

Amit Kotecha and his brother’s drugs were estimated to be worth £7 million and each of them were ordered to hand over £1.25 million.

Both brothers must pay back their respective sums within six months or receive a default sentence of six years in prison on top of their existing sentence.

For confiscation funds recovered, 50 per cent goes to the government. The remaining 50 per cent is split between the police, CPS and the courts.