A major drug dealer from Denholme has been stripped of £173,000 worth of illegally-gained assets after a confiscation hearing at Leeds Crown Court.

David Alan Romani, 52, of Dean Brow Farm, is currently serving a ten-year prison sentence for his part in a criminal drugs operation which saw him convicted of conspiracy to supply heroin and cocaine.

Now he has been ordered to pay £173,213.60 which he must provide in the next six months or face another two and a half years in prison.

Financial Investigation Manager, David Charity, of the Economic Crime Unit said: “The assets which the judge ordered Romani to pay include the equity of his home at Dean Brown Farm in Denholme, a personalised number plate and an Audi A4.

“Taking away a criminals’ ill-gotten gains sends a clear message that crime does not pay and demonstrates to the public that procedures are in place to prevent criminals benefiting as a result of their criminal activity.

“This is another result which again shows that West Yorkshire Police are committed to dealing with serious criminality in order to make communities safer,” Mr Charity said.

“Asset recovery investigations like this can sometimes have an even greater impact than a prison sentence.

“We would therefore encourage anyone who thinks they may know someone living beyond their means to contact us through the ‘Why Should They’ campaign anonymously on 0800 555 111” he said.

West Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner, Mark Burns-Williamson said: “Cases like these highlight the considerable amounts we can potentially recover from criminal enterprises and which could be used to the benefit of local people and police.

“I have recently launched the Safer Communities Fund which allows local groups and organisations to submit bids of up to £10,000 from Proceeds of Crime assets.

“Currently half of the money seized in West Yorkshire goes back to the Government and I am personally campaigning for all that cash to remain here.”