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North Wales

Drugs gang leader is stripped of assets worth more than £500,000

THE LEADER of an organised crime gang, which supplied illegal drugs to North Wales, has been ordered to repay more than half a million pounds.

Colin Jones of Walton, Liverpool is currently serving a 21-year prison sentence for conspiracy to supply Class A drugs and other offences.

Operation Tide, an investigation led by North Wales Police in 2019, resulted in the arrest and subsequent imprisonment of Jones and other gang members.

The case involved large-scale drug supply, with a network that stretched from Merseyside and North Wales to Devon, Cornwall and Scotland.

Jones, 52, appeared by video-link at a hearing at Mold Crown Court today (April 21).

The court heard that Jones had amassed a total of £2,337,130 as a result of his criminal activities.

However, the worth of his current assets were valued at £536,788; all of which can now be recovered by authorities.

DC Helen Philips said: “North Wales Police will not only relentlessly pursue organised criminals across force boundaries and bring them to justice, but will also look to recover wealth gained by these illegal consortiums.”

DI Richard Sidney added: “During Operation Tide, the force’s Serious Organised Crime Unit led a detailed and targeted investigation which culminated in the arrest and long-term imprisonment of those involved.

“The recovery of these substantial funds in today’s case underlines our commitment to disrupting OCG-related crime in the strictest possible terms.

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“County lines activity and drug supply are a blight on communities and can have a devastating impact on people’s lives.

“As a force, we are committed to pursuing these criminals and gangs whose crimes inflict such misery on their victims.”