Wigan Youth Zone to get £22k windfall from cash seized from criminals

Young people in Wigan are set to benefit from a share of £5m seized by police from criminals.

Greater Manchester Police has revealed a specialist team working to identify criminal funds in bank accounts has frozen and then forfeited a total of £5,111,165 since April.

The specialist operation, named Nest-egg, targets the illicit use of bank accounts by organised criminals, money launderers and fraudsters across Greater Manchester.

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Wigan Youth Zone will receive £22,000Wigan Youth Zone will receive £22,000
Wigan Youth Zone will receive £22,000

More than 50 per cent of the money seized and forfeited is returned to GMP and invested into the community, with £22,000 on its way to Wigan Youth Zone for educational and recreational activities.

As well as the £5m forfeited from criminals, the team has returned £2,302,962 to victims since April.

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Det Sgt Ben Miller, who leads the account freezing order team, said: “The investigations can often take months or even years to reach the point where we can forfeit criminal funds. It is important to showcase successes like this, to show the public that we are working hard behind the scenes. We continue to ensure that Greater Manchester is not a safe haven for criminals by targeting their greatest asset – their finances.

"It is fitting that the money forfeited will be utilised for a good cause – turning criminal proceeds into funding that is spent on community projects that mean the most to the public."

Temporary Det Supt Joseph Harrop, the lead for Operation Nest-egg, said: “To ensure we are the best-performing economic crime unit in the country, we have increased funding for our asset recovery teams, restructured the unit to be more proactive, and more than doubled the size of our cyber crime section.

"The account freezing order team, along with our asset detention and recovery unit, the confiscation and restraint unit and the money laundering team, will continue to work together as a unit to hunt, recover and keep criminal assets in order for this to be reinvested into our community.

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“Through hard work and dedication, we can reach the point in an investigation where we are able to forfeit funds. We continue to show criminals that crime does not pay in Greater Manchester.”