A PROPERTY near Welshpool has been seized by police from a gang of drug dealers who had been supplying cocaine in the Midlands for more than three years.

The premises in Middletown was one of six - worth an estimated £1.7 million - claimed by authorities under proceeds of crime powers.

One of the organised crime gang's ringleaders, Abdul Saeed, 39, had been arrested at the house by Staffordshire Police.

Saeed, and his two brothers and 10 other people were sentenced at Stafford Crown Court in December for their roles in a large-scale conspiracy to supply cocaine into an area between Staffordshire and the Welsh Borders.

A subsequent investigation by the National Crime Agency revealed that the Middletown property, plus a plot land and four other houses in Wolverhampton, Wednesbury, Birmingham and Stoke-on-Trent had been bought with proceeds from drug dealing.

At a recent High Court hearing in London a Civil Recovery Order by Consent was issued to allow the properties to be seized.

The NCA say that the premises were linked to Sukhjinder Kaur, 35, of Rugeley in Staffordshire and her brother-in-law Jasvir Singh, 45, also known as Lashman Chatha.

It has been claimed that Kaur laundered the proceeds of the drug trafficking operation by purchasing property and she was also engaged in mortgage fraud.

A property portfolio worth over £2 million was acquired between 2010 and 2013 in her name and that of her company, Lashman Estates Limited.

The NCA say the purchases were made at the direct control of her brother-in-law, Jasvir Singh, also known as Lashman Chatha.

Three of these properties had been specifically utilised by the Saeed crime group including one found to have an extensive underground cannabis factory.

Andy Lewis, the NCA’s head of asset denial, civil recovery and tax investigations, said that Kaur and Jasvir Singh had denied any illegal activity, but failed to provide any evidence or consistent account to demonstrate that the properties were funded from legitimate sources.

Based on the strength of the NCA’s case against them the respondents reached a settlement agreement resulting in the recovery by consent of the six properties.

“The powers that the National Crime Agency has under the Proceeds of Crime Act to seize property and other assets that we can show are linked to criminality often go under the radar," said Mr Lewis. "We will utilise all the powers we have to relentlessly pursue those associated with criminality and in doing so will take away the very assets that criminal activity funds," he said.