Drugs ring boxer Tony Booth told: Pay up or stay in prison
SHAMED boxer Tony Booth has been ordered to pay back almost £33,000 or face an extra 18 months in jail.
Booth, 41, is currently serving seven years behind bars for his role in a conspiracy to supply cocaine from the former Timber Dock pub in Victoria Dock, east Hull.
Booth, who had 166 professional fights in his 18-year career, profited from his criminality by more than £162,000, Hull Crown Court heard.
Booth will not have to pay back the full amount because he does not have enough assets.
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The father-of-two had claimed he only benefited by £1,200 from his part in the drugs gang.
But under the Proceeds of Crime Act, a judge has ruled Booth will have to pay back almost £33,000 or face a longer spell in prison.
The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) has the power to seize his property, including his house in Hedon, and car to recoup the money.
Recorder Tony Hawks told Booth: "These sums are payable within six months and the period in default is 18 months imprisonment."
Humberside Police's senior finan- cial investigator Lorraine Baines said: "Anyone involved in drug trafficking should be aware that they put their families at risk of losing their home and possessions as a direct consequence of their criminal lifestyle.
"The confiscation investigation into Booth has been conducted by the Regional Asset Recovery Team (Rart) based in Leeds.
"The North East team is made up of specialists who use their considerable skills, together with the powerful tool of the Proceeds of Crime Act to strip proven criminals of their assets gained through criminal activity."
The team examined Booth's bank accounts over the past six years. He had to explain the source and legitimacy of all the funds transferred into his accounts.
Booth 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 gang 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 of cocaine and £12,000 in counterfeit euros throughout a seven-month investigation.
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.