Criminal must pay back £77,000 in ill-gotten gains

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A jailed drug dealer and money launderer has been ordered to pay back more than £77,000 of ill-gotten gains or face an additional two year prison sentence.

Christopher Varney, aged 39, currently of no fixed abode and previously of Wrights Lane, Prestwood, was convicted of drug offences last year.

His arrest happened after Varney’s Mitsubishi Panjero was stopped by police in Bicester Road, Aylesbury, in October 2013.

The vehicle smelt strongly of cannabis, and when it was searched two bags of cannabis were found, one on the back seat and another in the boot.

A bag was also found, hidden under the bonnet, and this contained more than £30,000 in cash which was seized.

In January 2014, a warrant was executed at Daly Meadows campsite, Kingswood Lane, Wooton Underwood on a horse lorry owned by Varney that was parked at the site.

Police seized drugs which were found to be skunk cannabis, cannabis resin, cocaine and ketamine.

They also found drugs paraphernalia, along with more than £12,000 in cash, and again this was seized.

Following a trial at Aylesbury Crown Court, Varney was convicted of five counts of drug dealing and money laundering and sentenced to nine months in prison in December 2014.

He tried to claim that the cash represented the proceeds of gambling, but this was rejected by the jury.

Phillip Croxson, Thames Valley Police financial investigator, said: “The Confiscation Order represents a very substantial financial penalty.

“Mr Varney had owned and used a considerable number of different vehicles, and he had used alias names to conceal some of his assets.

“Enquiries revealed that he owned a narrowboat, since sold, and that he owned a share of an apartment in Spain.

“The Confiscation Order included the cash seized on two separate occasions.”