A man accused of being involved in organised crime has had assets worth £200,000 (€292,600) seized by the North's Assets Recovery Agency (ARA), it emerged today.
The ARA was granted an Interim Receiving Order at the High Court in Belfast on property and other assets belonging to Henry and Lauziata Hayles, of Glenwell Avenue, Glengormley, Co Antrim.
The assets include:
:: a property in Florida;
:: the couple’s Glengormley home;
:: a Nissan Terrano;
:: a Volkswagen Golf;
:: a Renault Clio;
:: a bank account held in the name of Mrs Hayles.
In its application to the High Court, the Agency alleged Mr Hayles has been involved in organised crime, including cash-in-transit robberies, firearms offences and drug trafficking.
It has been further alleged that he has links with other known criminals in Belfast, including groups with connections to both loyalist and republican paramilitaries.
But it is not alleged that Mr Hayles is himself involved in any paramilitary activity.
The ARA does not believe Mrs Hayles has personally been involved in any of the alleged crimes but she holds property purchased with the proceeds of her husband’s criminality.
ARA assistant director Alan McQuillan said: “This is the third new case the Agency has brought into action in the High Court this month.
“We have dealt with persons alleged to have been involved in drugs, excise evasion, fraud and now armed robbery and other crimes.”
He said the prosecution was a result of the close partnership between the ARA, Police Service of Northern Ireland and HM Revenue & Customs.
Mr McQuillan added: “People are fed up with the damage organised crime is doing to our communities.
“Together with our partners, we will continue to play our part in making sure that crime doesn’t pay.”
An interim receiver has taken control of the properties and assets.