Drug lord who built £200 million cannabis empire ordered to repay just £2.2m

Nirmal Singh Saund, 52, the mastermind behind a drugs empire that saw him recruit growers from the Vietnamese community to flood the UK with home grown cannabis has been ordered to pay back £2.2 million.

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Nirmal Singh Saund ordered to repay £2.2 million | cannabisgrower
Cash found during a raid of one of his properties | cannabisgrower2
The £500k property the drug lord lived in  | cannabisgrower3
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The crown prosecution service believed that he netted over £50 million a year, over a four year period from his cannabis growing business but has only been ordered to repay £2.2m.

Mr Saund, from Walsall in the West Midlands, acted as a respectable businessman while hunting down properties to rent and 19 industrial premises for growing cannabis across the UK.

He lived a playboy millionaire lifestyle driving the flashiest cars while mingling with some of Birmingham’s biggest crimes families.

But it all came to an end when police arrested him and charged him for conspiracy to produce a controlled drug in 2014, he was sentenced to 10 years and six months at Stafford Crown Court in 2015 after a guilty plea.

Saund ran the nationwide cannabis growing business with his nephew Darryl Saund, 23 and Cuong Pham, 29.

Darryl Saund was convicted and jailed for nine years while Cuong Pham, was jailed for six years.

At a proceed of crime hearing on May 27, the judge ordered Mr Saund to pay back £2.2 million or face further time in jail.

He has been given 3 months to pay the amount in full or face a further 10 years in jail.

His nephew, Darryl, was also ordered to pay back £114,115 at a previous hearing.

Detective Constable Derek Tinsley, from the Regional Asset Recovery Team, said: ‘This was a sophisticated drugs network and officers carried out a lot of diligent work to identify cash which was put into multiple accounts.

‘We worked with a variety of law enforcement agencies internationally and this case should act as a warning.

‘We will leave no stone unturned in making sure criminals do not prosper from their crimes.’

The gangs operation ran nationwide from Birmingham, where they had their headquarters and most of their grow farms to Daventry, Higham Ferrers, Doncaster,Loughborough, Leicester, Mansfield, Sheffield, Newport, Nuneaton and many other areas.

They were only caught after one of their grow farms lead police directly to Mr Saund, which lead police to set up a major investigation into the family.

Officers then found over 12,000 plants estimated street value of £4.75 million when other properties where raided in connection with the investigation.

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