Grantham man who hid a kilogram of cocaine in his van must pay back £170,000

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A Grantham man who was convicted of possessing a kilogram of cocaine and criminal property in May must now pay back £170,000 after a confiscation order was successfully made against him today.

Frank Cheevers, 50, of Woodbrook, received a five year prison sentence earlier this year. Today’s order was granted at Lincoln Crown Court and established that he benefited from crime by £240,000, however only £170,000 worth of assets were located.

He has to pay the money within six months or he will be subject to a further three years in prison and still owe the money.

The confiscation application followed meticulous enquiries by an Accredited Financial Investigator of the Economic Crime Unit and the presentation of their findings before the court.

DS Jarman, head of the ECU, said: “One area that the ECU specialises in, is the relentless pursuit of criminals’ money, in order to stop them benefiting from their crime and to prevent its reintegration into further criminal behaviour. The removal of this money and drugs equates to a significant impact on preventing harm to the community. We will continue to seek all the money that Cheevers has benefited by, however long that may take.”

In May Lincoln Crown Court heard police carried out a full search of Cheever’s van and found the cocaine in a bag which was stashed in a void under the front passenger seat footwell. Police experts analysed the cocaine and found it to have a purity of 15 per cent. The drugs were seized six months after Metropolitan Police found over £28,000 cash during a search of Cheever’s Grantham home.

Officers carried out a search at the property in January last year and found around £20,000 in cash hidden in a void under the bed in a spare room. Further cash was discovered in a safe. The money was analysed and found to contain traces of cocaine. Three cheap mobile phones were also found during the search and a mobile phone blocking device.

Cheevers later admitted possessing £28,000 in criminal cash following the search on January 23, 2013. He also pleaded guilty to possessing over a kilo of cocaine after he was stopped on July 12, last year.

In mitigation the court heard Cheevers was forced to give up his living as a mechanic after hurting his back.