A CANNABIS farmer from Sheffield who made millions growing the drug and lived a lavish lifestyle has been ordered to pay almost £500,000 under the Proceeds of Crime Act.
Leyakt Sajawal, aged 37, of St Lawrence Glebe, Tinsley, is serving a four-and-a-half year prison sentence for running a cannabis factory network across the north of England.
He was told unless he pays £488,685.42 he will have to spend another four years behind bars.
Sajawal is believed to have benefited from his crime to the tune of £2,137,760 - but only a fraction of the cash has been traced and is available for confiscation.
He has six months to pay before his prison sentence is doubled.
Sajawal pleaded guilty to conspiracy to produce cannabis in February 2009 but his case was raised again in court after a lengthy money laundering investigation led by the North East Regional Asset Recovery Team and officers from South Yorkshire, West Yorkshire and Cleveland Police.
South Yorkshire Police began investigating the cannabis farmer and associates in 2006 after identifying them as being heavily involved in producing the drug in South Yorkshire.
The investigation led to the discovery of a network spanning the north, with farms found in Sheffield, Huddersfield and Middlesborough.
The value of the crops found in Sheffield was around £500,000, with the value of all the drugs discovered worth around £1.7 million.
Sajawal, who lived the ‘high-life’ on the proceeds of his drug cultivation network, set up two cannabis factories on Staniforth Road, Darnall, and a third on Bawtry Road, Tinsley.
Detective Chief Inspector Lisa Atkinson, of the North Regional Asset Recovery Team, said: “Sajawal played a key role in many criminal enterprises and was even described in court as a ‘regional manager’.
“He lived a lavish lifestyle, only possible due to the extent of his involvement in cannabis production.
“Our detailed investigation has made sure that not only was Sajawal brought to justice but that his criminal assets were removed through confiscation proceedings.”