Thursday, 2 February 2012
Proceeds of Crime
There's lots of things to complain about and make fun of these days.
But one subject where the authorities deserve a pat on the back - is the success they're having in bringing the bad guys to book under the Proceeds of Crime Act.
Just last week two extremely wealthy businessmen with links to Glasgow's underworld - were ordered to hand over assets worth more than £900,000.
Now that's a result - because the judge decided that the two men - Russell Stirton and Alexander Anderson - acquired their family homes and other assets through unlawful acts.
Namely importing drugs, extortion - and money laundering.
After a criminal case against the two men failed - Scottish Ministers brought a civil action against them - and challenged them to show where the money came from to support their lavish lifestyles.
And although it took two years to get a result - the Court of Session in Edinburgh finally issued a recovery order for assets worth £922,212.22.
Personally speaking I would learn from experience and strengthen the law is this area - to make it easier to go after organised criminals.
And if they lose - as they did in this case - I would make them pay for all the costs of their two-year trial.
Because at the end of the process if they were deemed to be lying by the judge, in a cynical effort to escape justice - then why should the public purse pick up the bill?