AN illegal scrap yard in Walsoken has been cleared by police.
The owner of the yard, Tony ‘Tiger’ Gray, was jailed in June for two years and three months after his yard on Wheatley Bank was raided and closed down in June 2009.
Police and local company Glazewing were at the site on Thursday to clear away the vehicles remaining on the site. The scrap vehicles were crushed before being taken away by Glazewing.
The illegal operation at the yard netted Gray more than £2 million in illegal earnings. The 56-year-old was stripped of nearly £700,000 of assets after being sentenced at Norwich Crown Court last year.
Money raised from the confiscation of Gray’s assets under the Proceeds of Crime Act will be ploughed back into the criminal justice systems nationally and locally, to continue to fight financial fraud.
Det Sgt Pete Jessop, from Norfolk Constabulary’s specialist Operation Radar Team, said: “We work closely with scrap sites throughout the county who are law-abiding and it is fair to say this was an unprecedented case, with Gray showing a complete lack of disregard for the authorities.
“It goes to show once again that crime doesn’t pay.”
Det Sgt Jessop added that once the yard has been cleared and the house on site sold, the area will return to agricultural land.
Gray, also known as Wade Levi Smith, admitted operating the yard without a licence, abstracting electricity worth £20,000, handling stolen goods and a Proceeds of Crime Act offence.
During the original operation, codenamed ‘Invincible’, police found stolen property including a JCB digger worth £10,000.
At court, it was determined that between 2004 and 2009, Gray’s criminal activities had earned him £2,253,157.83. He was stripped of assets worth £698,427.86, including three houses, 408 vehicles, £122,000 in cash and £20,000 bank savings.