A Bradford drug dealer who claimed he had no assets has been ordered to re-pay more than £150,000, thanks to detailed police work into his finances.
Paul Capuvano, of Greenfield Lane, Bierley, claimed he was unable to pay off a confiscation order for almost £1m made against him in 2009 – three years after he was jailed for eight years for possession with intent to supply cocaine and conspiracy to pervert the course of justice.
But in 2010, police recovered an Aston Martin DB9 car and subsequently established that this belonged to the 44-year-old.
Further exploration of his finances revealed that he also owned land at the former Wapping Road School site in Bradford. This land has now been restrained while the investigation into his assets continues.
On 11 December, the courts ruled that Capuvano must pay back £164,520 in six months or face another two years in prison.
Speaking after the order was made, Financial Investigations Manager David Charity, said “Capuvano is an organised criminal, who has tried desperately to conceal his wealth through a myriad of companies, accounts and third parties.
“But this should act as a warning that we will continue to investigate the assets of criminals until every penny that can possibly be recovered, has been.”
Mark Burns-Williamson, the Police and Crime Commissioner for West Yorkshire, said: “Cases like these highlight the considerable amount of money we can potentially recover from criminal enterprises and which could be used to the benefit of local people and police.
“I am campaigning for all the money seized under the Proceeds of Crime Act to be returned to our communities, as half currently goes back to Government and cases like this are a timely reminder of the amounts involved.
“West Yorkshire Police and prosecutors has an excellent track record in recovering the ill-gotten gains of criminals, but currently only a relatively small proportion of the amounts recovered find its way back here. As a matter of principle that can’t be right.
“I am taking part in the Home Office consultation on the Proceeds of Crime Act legislation supporting changes which would see greater powers for the police to detain property acquired through crime and reducing situations where such property is returned.”
So far this year, the Bradford Proceeds of Crime Act Team has recovered more than £930,000.