Source: Sunday Times (UK)
Copyright: 1999 Times Newspapers Ltd.
Contact:  Sun, 17 Jan 1999
Section: BRITAIN
Author: Maeve Sheehan


POLICE are drawing up lists of Britain's wealthiest criminals in
anticipation of proposals to confiscate their assets.

They hope to use new legislation to strip suspected drugs barons and other
criminals of their money, homes, yachts and valuables - even though they may
never have been convicted of a crime.

Under the legislation a National Confiscation Agency (NCA) would be set up
to target alleged criminals and take away their assets if they could not
prove they came by them honestly.

Among those who may be considered for inclusion is Phil Glennon, a Liverpool
businessman, who was investigated last year after UKP1m in cash was found in
his back garden. In a court case involving a corrupt police officer, also in
1998, Glennon was charged with attempting to pervert the course of justice
and described in court as having amassed a fortune from drug dealing. The
charges were later dropped. Glennon has no convictions for crimes and
protests his innocence. Under the proposed legislation he would have to
explain where he got the money before it could be handed back.

Another potential target is Huseyin Baybasin, 41, alleged to run a heroin
trafficking operation between Turkey and Britain from a base in Holland. He
is suspected of owning millions of pounds' worth of property in Britain,
including a seaside hotel in Brighton.

The list is also likely to include associates of convicted criminals such as
Tommy Adams, of the notorious Adams family, based in London. Police believe
it has amassed an estimated UKP100m fortune from organised crime and drug
trafficking. Much of the money is thought to have been invested in
legitimate ventures such as nightclubs, making it impossible for the police
to touch it without new laws.

The various names are on a list being drawn up by senior detectives from
forces across the country. The wealth of such criminals has enabled them to
employ lawyers and accountants to block inquiries into their activities.
"They just pay the highest money for the best people to hide the proceeds of
their crimes for them," said a senior officer.

Other targets include:

A drug dealer, in his thirties, who was acquitted last year of smuggling
cannabis into Britain. Police found that despite having no obvious source of
income he had UKP1m in a foreign bank account, drove an expensive sports car
and lived in a UKP100,000 apartment in the north of England.

A sports promoter with substantial business interests who has been
investigated for his suspected financial links to a convicted drug

A labourer ostensibly earning less than UKP20,000 a year who controlled more
than UKP20m held in British and international bank accounts.

The NCA would be run jointly by police and customs officers, backed by legal
and financial experts. Pressure to

set up such a body arose from the failure of earlier legislation which was
meant to help police and the courts to strip criminals of their assets. Only
about UKP10m a year is recovered under the legislation, against the UKP10
billion which the Home Office believes is generated by the drugs trade.

The National Crime Squad is also investigating a London charity suspected of
laundering millions of pounds linked to Tommy Adams, who was jailed last
year for drug trafficking. Police believe the charity was duped.

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