Drug dealer caught with 800g of cocaine ordered to hand over more than £90,000

A drug dealer has been ordered to hand over more than £90,000 after being caught with tens of thousands of pounds worth of cocaine.

Thomas Hughes, 64, from Porthcawl, was jailed for seven years in February after he admitted possessing cocaine with intent to supply and two counts of money laundering.

His case was listed under the Proceeds of Crime Act before Judge Eleri Rees at Cardiff Crown Court on Friday.

The court previously heard police from the Organised Crime Unit in Bridgend and the Porthcawl Neighbourhood Policing Team carried out drug raids on March 23 last year.

Officers raided a property rented by Hughes and seized £30,000 in cash along with 800g of cocaine with a potential street value up to £80,000.

Police found £30,000 in Hughes’ safe
(Image: South Wales Police)

 

Detective Chief Inspector Dean Taylor, of South Wales Police, said: “Illegal drugs have a devastating impact on our communities, inflicting misery upon users and their families and local residents.

“This was another very successful proactive operation carried out by the Organised Crime Unit, which has resulted in a significant quantity of drugs being seized in Porthcawl.”

A confiscation order for £92,000 was made and Hughes will have three months to pay. He would go to prison for 18 months if he failed to do so.

Officers seized 800g of cocaine from Hughes’ home
(Image: South Wales Police)

 

Police examined Hughes’ phone after he was arrested and found conversations with his accountant Joanne Hughes-Bassett.

The messages showed she was trying to buy a property in Porthcawl which Hughes would then rent from her.

She was arrested on suspicion of money laundering told police during an interview that Hughes had given her a large sum of cash.

When officers searched her home in April last year, they found £40,000 in a box in a hallway cabinet.

Hughes-Bassett, 45, from Porthcawl, admitted money laundering and was given a suspended 14-month prison sentence.

Her case will be listed for mention under the Proceeds of Crime Act on April 29.

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Article source: https://www.walesonline.co.uk/news/wales-news/drug-dealer-caught-800g-cocaine-16122383