One of the county’s biggest ever drug gangs have been ordered to pay back almost £3 million in illegal profits - or see their prison terms extended.
Brothers, Ravi and Amit Kotecha, aged 29 and 34, together with their uncle Freshkumar Kakkad, aged 49, and friend Rohit Suvania, aged 33, were drug dealers at the top of Northamptonshire’s criminal underworld.
Police found the gang had set-up links in Amsterdam, Africa and the Caribbean, shipping huge quantities of pure, uncut cocaine into the county on lorries.
They then sold the drugs on in bulk to wholesalers further down the chain. However, they were jailed, along with two other men, in March 2011,
Last week, at Northampton Crown Court, Judge Richard Bray ordered the drug lords to pay back a total of £2,824,184.
The total street value of the drugs the gang sold was estimated to be about £4.5 million.
Amit Kotecha, from Chambers Hill, Mawsley, who is serving a 15-year sentence, was estimated to have made nearly £7 million through his drug empire. He must pay back £1.25 million.
Ravi Kotecha from Chambers Hill, Mawsley, who is serving a 17-year sentence made more than £7 million and a confiscation order was set at £1.25 million.
Kakkad, from Cambium Close, Kettering, who is serving 17 years was estimated to have made around £2.2 million and a confiscation order was set at £324,184.
The Kotecha brothers must pay the money back within six months or risk an additional six years in prison. Kakkad risks another three-and-a-half years in prison.
Suvania, from Mitchell Street, Kettering, who was locked up for 14 years, profited by more than £2.3 million, however, investigators found he had no assets and a confiscation order of £1 was made.
Viktor Maksimov, aged 57, from Lithuania, was the lorry driver. He was sentenced to 15 years in prison, having been found guilty of importing cocaine.
The criminal value of his drugs was estimated to be more than £1.1 million. However, police found there were no assets and a confiscation order of £1 was made.
Ismail Patel, aged 43, from St Saviours Road, in Leicester, who was connected to the gang but sentenced separately for money laundering offences, was sentenced to 12 months.
He must pay back £103,644, of which £13,766 is to be paid in compensation to a victim of crime.
Police and Crime Commissioner Adam Simmonds, said: “This is a fantastic result for us. Especially as we are able to actually provide a victim of crime with compensation from the assets we have confiscated.
“Not only will we go after those who commit crime in our county, but we will also go after their assets and ill-gotten gains.
“We have a successful scheme in place where community groups can apply for grants from money seized through POCA. This allows us to give back to the communities what criminals have taken.”
Rankin McCarrick, financial investigator for Northamptonshire Police, said: “Since the sentencing in 2011, a detailed investigation has taken place by our financial investigation unit to identify the defendants’ assets.
“It has been a long and very difficult investigation as they went to great lengths to hide their assets.
“This has been a great result for us. Not only did we get successful prosecutions in 2011, removing harmful drugs from the distribution network and off our streets, but we have now shown we will continue to identify and confiscate the criminal assets to ensure crime doesn’t pay.”
For confiscation funds recovered, 50 per cent goes to the government. The remaining 50 per cent is split between the police, CPS and the courts.