Crime pays up

SCOTLAND's elite crimebusters seized £1.25million dirty cash from gangsters in less than a year.
 
The Scottish Crime and Drug Enforcement Agency said the haul was SIX TIMES the size of the previous 12 months' - and caused hoods "unprecedented turmoil".
 
Last night Justice Secretary Kenny MacAskill praised cops over the seizure - calling it "excellent news for decent people across Scotland".
 
Mr MacAskill said: "As well as stopping thousands of kilos of drugs from reaching our streets, our police are targeting the hard cash that enables the gangsters to complete their dirty deals.
 
"Taking away the most basic tool of their tawdry trade means taking away the status of these so-called hard men."
The massive haul came in just 10 months since last April - and was up 600 per cent on the £207,000 grab for 2009-10.
The success marked a shift in focus by the unit who now hit gangs BEFORE they can use the cash to buy drugs.
 
SCDEA boss Gordon Meldrum said: "By attacking their cash flow we stop them being able to invest in controlled drugs."
 
According to the SCDEA, the cash seizures have prevented criminals from generating nearly £15million from narcotics.
 
Among their biggest hauls was a £200,000 sum grabbed from a crook.