Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Met Names Criminals on the Run Who Owe [Pounds Sterling]2.5m in Confiscation Orders

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Met Names Criminals on the Run Who Owe [Pounds Sterling]2.5m in Confiscation Orders

Article excerpt

Byline: Justin Davenport Crime Correspondent

SCOTLAND Yard today released photographs and details of nine criminals who are on the run owing a total of [pounds sterling]2.5million in confiscation orders by the courts.

They were convicted and jailed but disappeared on their release. Some are believed to have fled abroad but others are suspected of hiding in Britain.

The seven men and two women are being hunted by the Met's specialist Asset Confiscation Enforcement team. In the last two years the team has arrested 107 people who have paid up nearly a [pounds sterling]1 million.

Its head, Detective Superintendent Janice McClean, said: "In these times of economic hardship I think it is particularly important the public have confidence that police are taking action against those who acquire their wealth through crime. These are the unseen financiers behind violent and acquisitive crime in London."

It is the first time that Scotland Yard has released details of criminals wanted for failing to pay confiscation orders.

Among them is South African Oscar Tesnear, 61, who was jailed for 33 months in 2005 after he duped Greenwich council and the Department for Work and Pensions out of more than [pounds sterling]100,000. The court heard how he travelled the world on false passports. Another on the wanted list is a Malaysian counterfeiter. Dino Simm, 35, and his accomplice were jailed for a total of seven years in 2004 after a court heard they earned up to [pounds sterling]3million in Britain's biggest DVD piracy operation.

Simm was ordered to pay back [pounds sterling]662,425 in 2005 but has since gone on the run. With interest, he now owes a total of [pounds sterling]779,297.

Asset confiscation orders were introduced to seize crime profits from convicted criminals.

But police and courts face difficulties in enforcing them. Convicted criminals are given time to pay -- or risk an additional "default" to their prison sentence.

Detectives say many serious criminals choose to serve default sentences rather than surrender their cash. Then courts have little power to recover the money. …

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