A DRUG dealer who made millions selling cocaine flaunted his wealth driving a Lamborghini with “crime pays” written on the number plate.
Daniel Harris, Leon Ley, and Dale Martin, all from Swansea, were part of a sophisticated organised crime group which trafficked an estimated 50kg of coke from London and Essex to Wales – and reaped large rewards in return.
Last year, the trio were handed lengthy prison sentences but the case returned to Swansea Crown Court for a proceeds of crime hearing where some of their ill-gotten gains were confiscated.
The court heard that financial investigators concluded the gang had benefited from their criminality to the tune of £6million and that so far assets and cash worth almost £268,000 have been located.
Among those are a Lamborghini sports car, a Range Rover, luxury caravans, and tens of thousands of pounds in cash.
As part of their investigation police recovered number plates from Harris carrying the slogan “crime pays”.
Further financial investigations are ongoing to identify additional assets.
The drug trafficking operation was uncovered following the shocking armed robbery of the occupants of a van waiting at Swansea’s busy Dyfatty traffic lights in 2020.
The driver and his passenger turned out to be couriers transporting cocaine and £106,000 in cash on behalf of London gangsters, and the robbery led to a major South Wales Police investigation codenamed Operation Tilbury.
Daniel Francis Harris, aged 40, from Sketty, Swansea, was subsequently sentenced to 16 years in prison for his involvement in the cross-border cocaine conspiracy; Leon Dean Ley, aged 34, from Fforestfach, Swansea, to 11 years and three months; and 28-year-old Dale Gary Martin, from Townhill, Swansea, to 12 years.
Harris was described in court during his trial as a “local Flash Harry” character and “the toast of SA1” who enjoyed his image of wealth – he had a detached house in Sketty, ran a car business in Brynhyfryd, and had a taste for expensive vehicles and “fake bling”.
Leon Ley, meanwhile, was a former council grave-digger turned successful car garage owner and dog breeder.
Speaking after the financial confiscation hearing South Wales Police financial investigator Jo Williams said: “This result shows the fantastic work carried out by the Economic Crime Unit who have supported the investigation of Op Tilbury.
“The suspects were convicted previously and received substantial sentences, so to follow on with this incredible level of orders under the Proceeds of Crime Act is fantastic and really moves towards disrupting organised crime groups.”
The investigator added that Harris probably now regrets the personalised “crime pays” number plates which he was using in 2011.
Source: The Sun