A flat in Dagenham has been recovered as part of a National Crime Agency civil recovery investigation into a man believed to be a drug dealer and fraudster.

Mkpa Oju Uka, aged 50, from Essex, claimed the flat, worth around £310,000, had been bought with the profits of a second-hand clothes business, but investigators alleged it was paid for using the proceeds of drug sales and mortgage fraud.

The claim, which was brought back in April 2018, has taken more than a year to resolve due to Uka repeatedly using delaying tactics, such as not complying with court directions, to hinder the progress of the case.

A court order was obtained last week at a hearing in the High Court before the Hon. Mr. Justice Jay to recover the flat under the Proceeds of Crime Act.

The NCA is seeking to recover a second property linked to this case later this year.

Andy Lewis, Head of Asset Denial at the NCA, said: “The defendant thought that delaying tactics would stop us pursuing this case, but we were persistent and in the end successful in recovering property we believe was obtained as a result of criminal activity.

“We will continue our work to identify and prosecute those linked to economic and financial crime, and take away their illicit assets using all the tools available to us.”

Sarah Pritchard, Director of the National Economic Crime Centre said: “This is a great result and demonstrates our firm commitment to tackling illicit finance in the UK.

“We will continue to target wealth we believe has been illegally obtained regardless of where and how it is hidden.”

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