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Criminals in arrears over dirty money

MORE than £7.5 million seized from Scotland's criminals under dirty money laws has still to be paid.

New figures show that millions are outstanding from crooks, including fraudsters, drug dealers and money launderers.

Prosecutors said £50m had been seized under the Proceeds of Crime Act and diverted into youth projects in the past five years.

However, many still owe money years after he confiscation orders have been imposed by the courts.

Figures from the Scottish Court Service, which is responsible for fines collection, show that of the £7.5m outstanding, £4.8m is in arrears, with the remainder on track to be paid in instalments.

As of last month, fraudster Anthony Kearney had the largest amount outstanding at £898,441. Kearney, 47, and his girlfriend Donna McCafferty fled to Spain after being charged with claiming benefits while they had more than £330,000 in offshore accounts.

John Lamont MSP, the Scottish Conservatives' chief whip, said: "The concept is a very good one. But it is completely pointless unless it is strictly enforced."

A Scottish Government spokesman said: "Fines collection rates have improved considerably and are now consistently high."

Contextual targeting label: 
Local government

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