National Crime Agency
NCA determined to claw back cash 10 years on
A jailed cocaine smuggler is still being pursued for his profits a decade after he was ordered to hand over more than £1m of criminal assets.
Clifton Rochester, 47, was jailed for 14 years in 2005 for heading a drugs operation.
Rochester and his crime gang were estimated to have imported almost £50m worth of cocaine from Jamaica to the UK using air hostesses as couriers.
Tens of millions of pounds worth of class A was dealt in Bristol where Rochester of Greenford, Middlesex, admitted conspiracy to import and supply cocaine, deception and money laundering offences.
In 2007 he was ordered to forfeit his profits with the promise his future finances would be under surveillance.
Bristol Crown Court gave Rochester two years to pay £1,000,003 - or face up to six and a half years more in prison.
In September 2010 the confiscation figure was reduced to £629,908.
He has paid a total of £325,629 leaving an outstanding balance of £425,834.
In 2014 he was sentenced to serve a default 821 days because of failure to pay in full.
The National Crime Agency is now appealing for help to trace Rochester’s assets under Operation Repay – an agency drive to take back criminals’ gains.
Nigel Kirby, deputy director, Economic Crime Command, said: “It has been 10 years and we will not give up on getting the full sum back from Rochester.
“We have far-reaching legal powers to take action and confiscate assets, so if anyone can identify how he has used or invested his dirty money, we would urge them to get in touch with us.”
If you can help call the NCA control centre on 0370 496 7622 or email email@example.com and quote Operation Repay.
You can also call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.
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