Judge tells drug dealer to dispose of property

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A DRUG dealer who bought designer goods for his wife during a shopping spree while he was on the run must sell his Halifax home to pay back more than £100,000 of his criminal proceeds.

Mohammed Khumran Taj, 29, who is serving a nine-year prison sentence for selling heroin and crack cocaine, has been ordered to pay within six months or face another 27 months in jail.

He was jailed last December at Bradford Crown Court, where he appeared yesterday for a Proceeds of Crime Act hearing.

Judge John Potter was told Taj raked in £356,715.67 through his crimes and had available assets totalling about £110,000, including a BMW car and a watch valued at £2,500, as well as his home and expensive electrical goods.

Police also seized about £30,000 in cash during their investigation while bank accounts linked to Taj contained a further £12,000.

The court heard last year how Taj, of Pear Street, used a car valeting business as a front for his drug dealing. While on the run from police, he went on a designer shopping spree in Manchester and was eventually caught holed up in an apartment in Barnsley.

His brother Sohail Taj, 21, and their cousin Mohammed Riaz, 28, also from Halifax, were sentenced alongside him for lesser roles in the operation. They were the last defendants to be sentenced as part of undercover police sting Operation Irondale.

Khumran Taj was described as a “prolific and persistent” dealer who took a lead role in a “ring and bring” operation. He admitted to more than 20 counts of possessing and supplying class A drugs and acquiring criminal property.

Judge Potter also ordered his brother to pay back £2,370.61 of his own criminal profit yesterday.