Drug dealer is now �100,000 better off

A DRUG dealer who made more than �1.3 million from his illegal trade has persuaded a High Court judge to cut �100,000 off the sum he must repay to society from his ill-gotten gains.

Naeem Qureshi, who owned three properties in Ilford and another in East Ham, as well as two Mercedes cars, had his bill cut after a judge heard he has fallen foul of the credit crunch.

Qureshi was jailed for six years at Snaresbrook Crown Court in January 2004 after he was convicted of possessing and conspiring to supply a class A drug and offering to supply a class B drug.

In November 2006 – the “benefit” from his crimes having been assessed at �1,309,458.50 – he was handed a �415,611 confiscation order.

Qureshi, who had the bulk of his wealth invested in properties in Kensington Gardens, The Drive, and Selbourne Road, Ilford, as well as Skeffington Road, East Ham, now says he is unable to meet his liability because of the drastic drop in property prices following the credit crunch.

Last week Mr Justice Wilkie, at the High Court, agreed to cut more than �100,000 off the sum he must repay after granting him a partial “certificate of insufficiency” in relation to the confiscation order.

After ruling that �71,000 had been wiped off the value of the property at The Drive, Ilford, as well as other diminution in the value of other assets, the judge said: “Looking at the matter in the round, there are no new assets of the claimant which could be used as realisable assets and his evidence is that he is not working, he is unable to do so due to ill-health, that he is engaged full-time in caring for his grandchild and lives with his daughter and his son.

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“Accordingly in my judgement he is entitled to a certificate of insufficiency.”