Boxer Tony Booth faces £240k drug assets bill
A HULL boxer jailed for his part in a drugs and counterfeiting gang is now facing financial ruin.
Tony Booth, who had 166 professional fights in his 18-year career, may have to pay back almost £240,000 while he is serving a seven-year prison sentence.
The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) has the power to seize his property, including his house and car, to recoup the money.
Father-of-two Booth claimed he only benefited by £1,200 from his part in the drugs gang.
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Humberside Police's senior financial investigator, Lorraine Baines, said: "As a convicted drug dealer, Anthony Booth now has to explain the source and legitimacy of all the funds transferred into his accounts in the last six years.
"Booth faces the prospect of losing his house and car."
Financial investigators believe Booth benefited from his criminality by nearly £240,000.
Under the Proceeds of Crime Act they are seeking to immediately recoup £82,443, which they believe is the value of Booth's current assets, including his taxi and house in Hedon.
They could also seize any of his future assets up to the total sum of £237,732.
Booth's legal team has been given a month to come to an agreement over the amount of his realisable assets.
Booth, 41, was locked up for operating a drugs ring in the old Timber Dock Pub, in Victoria Dock, east Hull.
He was jailed along with seven others, including former landlord George Rowley, chef Christopher Coles and ex-drugs mentor Peter Brook for a combined total of almost 30 years.
Police caught the men after launching an undercover sting known as Operation Beech into the supply of cocaine and ecstasy and the passing of counterfeit money in the area.
Booth was described as a "lieutenant" and the CPS claimed he was "pivotal" to introducing all the other defendants to each other.
He was said to have used contacts he had made throughout his boxing career to obtain drugs and counterfeit currency for his accomplices.
Undercover officers were supplied with £20,320-worth of cocaine and £12,000 in counterfeit euros throughout a seven-month investigation.
Recorder Nick Campbell QC has ruled three other members of the gang benefited by almost £40,000 but as they have no assets they have only been ordered to pay back a nominal amount of £1 each.
Mechanic John Kiel, of east Hull, who had pressed the cocaine in his garage and Coles, who supplied drugs to undercover officers, were both ruled to have benefited through their criminal conduct by £16,080 each.
Marc Agius, who was Booth's contact and supplied drugs to officers in Willerby Road, west Hull, was deemed to have benefited by £4,560.
Booth will face a final hearing in October.