Man must pay courts £455,000 after police raid cannabis farm in Stradishall

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A man arrested after a large quantity of cannabis was found at a farm in Stradishall has been ordered by a court to hand over more than £450,000.

Hanif Shakeri, 26, was sentenced last November to 12 months in prison after pleading guilty to possessing cannabis with intent to supply, careless driving and possession of criminal property.

A three day Proceeds of Crime hearing this week at Ipswich Crown Court was told that specialist financial investigators had established that Shakeri’s benefit from his offending totalled £618,284 and that he had available assets of £455,794.

Shakeri had claimed that not all of his assets were the result of criminal activity and could be accounted for by transfers of money into his UK bank account by his mother in Iran.

During the hearing Shakeri claimed that the cash had come from the sale of property in Iran following the death of his father.

Making a confiscation order, Mr Recorder Matthew Nicklin QC ordered Shakeri to hand over his full £455,794 assets within the next six months or face four years in prison.

Shakeri was arrested on December 13, 2011 after failing to stop for a police patrol which pursued him into a business centre. Two police cars were damaged during the incident and Shakeri was arrested at the scene.

A search of his BMW car revealed a small quantity of cannabis and £2,000 in cash. A subsequent search of a caravan and outbuildings at Home Farm, Stradishall where he was living discovered 10kg of cannabis, some packed ready for sale in small bags, and £2,300 in cash.

When interviewed, Shakeri said because of a head injury he could not remember when or why he had arrived in the UK from his native Iran.

Shakeri had been forced by a man known only to him as ‘Paddy’ to store and package the cannabis and had been beaten up by this man on a number of occasions said Richard Kelly defending.