£1.3million was discovered by English police in a man’s bedroom.

Packed in bundles of £50 and £20 notes the haul of cash was discovered overflowing from suitcases and holdalls and stuffed into bedroom drawers in a house in Highley, near Bridgnorth, Shropshire owned by Phillip Hartill.

Some of the money is considered to have been obtained through highway theft.

Birmingham court ordered the seizure of £1.33million in cash after a successful application by West Midlands Police under the Proceeds of Crime Act (POCA).

The forfeiture, which is the biggest ever achieved by the force, follows an application by the West Midlands Police Economic Crime Unit (ECU).

Despite initial criminal proceedings being dropped, officers pursued the cash seizure through POCA.

The huge stash – which police believe is derived from crime – was discovered at the Shropshire home of Mr Hartill in December 2010, who has not been prosecuted.

Now the court has accepted the police proposition that the money should be considered to be the proceeds of haulage theft.

The money was discovered by officers during a search warrant at an address in Highley in connection with an incident in the Black Country in November 2010, where a lorry driver had his load of televisions worth £250,000 stolen.

The driver was later discovered dead in Dudley from a suspected heart attack.

Nine men were convicted for offences linked to the robbery of the driver in January 2012. During the inquiry officers searched the address in Highley and the cash was seized from a bedroom at the address.

The occupant of the premises, Phillip Hartill, aged 56 was initially detained on suspicion of money laundering and handling stolen goods, but following extensive police questioning was released and no criminal charges were brought against him.

However officers from the ECU proceeded with an inquiry and subsequent application under POCA to confiscate the money.

Source

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