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  1. ITV Report

Drug smugglers who made more than £7m each are ordered to pay back just £1

Two members of a Salford drugs gang who made more than £7m each trying to smuggle £13.5m of cocaine into the country from the Caribbean will have to pay back just £1.

Six men were jailed for a total of more than 70 years in April after the plot was uncovered.

A hearing under the Proceeds of Crime Act - legislation which strips criminals of their ill-gotten gains - was held at Manchester Crown Court.

The gang netted 50 kilos of high-purity cocaine from suppliers in the Dominican Republic.

But a court heard the international conspiracy in 2015 unravelled after the contraband was seized by customs at London Gateway Ports.

The Class A drugs had been hidden in the battery compartments of car jump-starter devices, which had been specifically lined with lead in an effort to foil x-ray machines.

The court heard that two members of the gang, Jonathan Gregg and Reece Cole, had no available assets and must pay back ‘nominal’ confiscation orders of £1.

Gregg and Cole were both found to have ‘benefited’ to the tune of £7,773,160, but their available assets were found to be ‘nil’.

Gregg, 31, of Ellesmere Street, Swinton , who a court heard also had a managerial role, was jailed for ten years and eight months.

Cole, 24 at the time and from Brierlery Road East, Swinton, admitted conspiracy to import and two offences of possession of class A with intent to supply. He was jailed for 12 years.

Darren Cleary, 37, of Windsor Avenue, Clifton , was described by sentencing Judge Martin Steiger QC as having a ‘leadership role in the conspiracy’. He was previously jailed for 16 years.

Cleary was ruled to have benefited by £7,843,319 and was also ordered to repay his available assets of £8,400 within three months.

Anthony Seddon, 52, of of Charles Street, Swinton, who recruited his son Lloyd as a ‘helper’, was jailed for 14 years.

At the POCA hearing, the court heard Anthony Seddon had ‘benefited’ to the tune of £7,773,160. His available assets - the equity on a house - was put at £96,500.

Judge Steiger QC ordered that he must repay that sum within three months or serve a further 21 months in jail.

Lloyd Seddon, 27, of Charles Street, Swinton, was linked to a 15kg stash of cutting agents for the drugs. He was jailed for six years after being found guilty of drug importing.

John Farnworth, 35, of Gladstone Street, Pendlebury , denied importing drugs but was found guilty by a jury and jailed for 12 years.

The POCA hearing in relation to Farnworth was adjourned until January.

The court heard the Crown Prosecution Service do not intend to pursue a confiscation order against Lloyd Seddon.