Nearly £30,000 of cash has been seized from a businessman who is thought to have been murdered.Seized by whom? The person or persons thought to have murdered him?
Paul Duckenfield was last seen in a restaurant near Braintree, after flying into Stansted Airport from Portugal, in September 2008.Hmmmm, bear with me. It gets murkier from here on in…
In June 2007, Derbyshire Police found nearly £50,000 in cash at his house in Allestree, Derby.
They seized the money under the Proceeds of Crime Act, suspecting it had come from criminal activity.
The force successfully applied to the court to keep £20,000 of this cash, which Mr Duckenfield could not account for.
He claimed the remaining £29,409 had come from selling his assets, so it was returned and a cheque given to his solicitor for safe keeping.
But he was reported missing after not being seen since flying into Essex from his home in Portugal on September 15, 2008.Yes, dear reader. The same money they’d had to give back.
Derbyshire Police believe he was due to travel to collect the cheque from his solicitor, but he never kept the appointment.
Essex Police launched an ongoing murder inquiry and as a result of new information discovered during the investigation, officers from Derbyshire returned to the courts to seize the £29,409.
This time, of course, there was no-one to challenge the legalised theft, for, of course, the owner was suspected of having joined the choir invisible…
Southern Derbyshire Magistrates Court agreed the seizure and the money will be split between the Treasury, police, Court Services and the Crown Prosecution Service.How nice for them!
Det Con Laurie Benniston-Clarke, financial investigator at Derbyshire Police, said: “It is unusual because of the fact there is an ongoing murder investigation and we have no knowledge of where Mr Duckenfield is.Must have been a lot easier for you this time, though, with no pesky owner to contend the legalised theft…
“It is also the first time the force has gone back to court to seize assets we had previously given back.”
Officers had discovered information to suggest he had transferred money to a friend’s bank account, which was later sent back to Mr Duckenfield.And they didn’t need to prove it, either!
They suspected it was a way of transferring money to hide assets and transfer criminal property.
Mr Duckenfield was last seen at Palm Trees restaurant, in Blake End, near Braintree.I wonder if the police are putting half as much effort into investigating his murder as they are apparently putting into looting his (still undiscovered) corpse..?
A man remains on bail on suspicion of murder.