Detectives aim to seize property of ‘£1m drugs overlord’

Maurice Turrall
Maurice Turrall

DETECTIVES want top judges to freeze the assets of a suspected drugs kingpin who went on the run over an alleged £1 million money laundering scam.

Former Wroot man Maurice Turrall, aged in his mid 60s, evaded police arrest five years ago and sparked an nationwide manhunt.

Police believe he laundered drugs cash over a ten year period, with the help of relatives, friends and businesses.

Now officers investigating the case have submitted an application to the High Court in London asking for permission to freeze his assets under a civil action.

Police have not given details of his former address in Wroot.

But they said his assets due for recovery include jewellery, cars and property.

Det Con Martin Hawley, who led the investigation for the North East Regional Asset Recovery Team, told the Bells: “We submitted an evidence file to the Serious Organized Crime Agency (SOCA) and they have sent an application to the High Court asking for civil recovery of his assets.

“He has never been convicted of the crimes alleged. However, civil forfeiture proceedings are based on the balance of probability.

“If judges decide to grant the application then we will be able to freeze his assets and he will not be able to do anything with them. Such assets include cars, jewellery and property.”

The officer said the court application was submitted several weeks ago and the case was still pending a decision.

He added Turrall, now believed to be living abroad, was no longer on their wanted list.

The suspect moved to Wroot from Mexborough, near Doncaster, with his wife in 2007. He told police he wanted to hand himself in but was not at his Wroot address when they attended on February 20, 2008, and fled.

A spokesman for SOCA said the agency would not like to comment on the case or proceedings.