In a ruling handed down on Friday (23/6), Richard Omar, a 55-year-old convicted drugs trafficker, has been ordered to repay over £5 million in criminal proceeds or face an additional nine years of imprisonment.
Omar, previously residing in Wye Close, Stockton-on-Tees, played a significant role in a high-profile drugs supply conspiracy, involving the large-scale distribution of highly pure cocaine and cannabis. The illicit operation was orchestrated by an organised crime group based in the Liverpool area, which supplied and transported drugs from the northwest of England to the northeast, specifically targeting Teesside for profitable sales.
On 15th October 2021, Omar was sentenced to 16 years in prison at Teesside Crown Court for his involvement in conspiracies to supply Class A and Class B drugs. Following his conviction, the Yorkshire and Humber Regional Economic Crime Unit (YH RECU) initiated proceedings under the Proceeds of Crime Act to confiscate Omar’s ill-gotten gains.
During the hearing held on Friday, it was determined that Omar had reaped significant financial benefits from his criminal activities, amounting to a staggering £5,290,218.63. As a result, His Honour Judge Watson KC ordered Omar to repay this sum within four months, failing which he would face an additional prison sentence.
Ramona Senior, the Head of YH RECU, a division of the Yorkshire and Humber Regional Organised Crime Unit (YH ROCU), commented on the case, stating, “The court has recognised that Richard Omar amassed substantial wealth through the trade of large quantities of Class A drugs. The objective of the proceeds of crime investigation is to identify the ill-gotten gains and seize assets that can be used to satisfy a confiscation order. In this instance, Omar refused to cooperate with the process, and as a result, the court has determined that the available amount matches the value of his criminal profits. Consequently, failure to comply with this order within the specified timeframe will result in a significant extension of his prison sentence.”
Senior further emphasised the clear message being sent to those contemplating drug dealing for personal gain, stating, “To anyone harbouring ambitions of profiting from the misery caused by drug trafficking, this case demonstrates that justice will prevail. We will relentlessly pursue the recovery of criminal proceeds associated with such activities, leaving no room for illicit enrichment within our communities.”
With the confiscation order in place, Richard Omar now faces the daunting task of repaying the substantial sum of £5 million within the stipulated timeframe or risk serving an extended prison sentence. The enforcement of such measures underscores the UK law enforcement’s commitment to combating drug-related crime and ensuring the confiscation of ill-gotten gains to uphold justice and protect communities from the adverse effects of drug trafficking.