Connect with us

Crime

Convicted Cambridgeshire drug dealer up the creek without a boat

Ben Cunningham stored cocaine with a potential street value of £470,000 on his boat at Huntingdon

Avatar photo

Published

on

His freedom – he’s been jailed for 8 years – is not the only thing Ben Cunningham has lost. A court ordered the sale of his boat where he stored blocks of high purity cocaine with a street value of nearly half a million pounds.

Cunningham, 49, of Wyton Moorings, Banks End, Huntingdon, was found to be a key cog within a criminal network in the Cambridgeshire area, buying, and selling drugs on a commercial scale.

Now the boat he had moored at Wyton whilst he “lived a lavish lifestyle, frequently dining out and staying in expensive hotels” is to be sold at auction after a Proceeds of Crime hearing last week.

The Eastern Region Special Operations Unit (ERSOU) found that he had used the San Periel boat, which was moored on the River Great Ouse, to store the cocaine.

Police searching the vessel after arresting Cunningham found cocaine with a potential street value of £470,000, along with more than £13,000 in cash and cannabis worth £7,000.

Detectives established that Cunningham was a local link to an organised crime group (OCG) which moved and sold cocaine across the UK.

Ben Cunningham, 49, of Wyton Moorings, Banks End, with drugs and cash found in police raid on his Huntingdon boat.

Ben Cunningham, 49, of Wyton Moorings, Banks End, with drugs and cash found in police raid on his Huntingdon boat.

Two other members of the network were also jailed for a combined 24 years.

Following Cunningham’s conviction, specialist financial investigators from ERSOU’s economic crime unit began enquiries to establish how much he had earned through the criminality, identifying he had made £249,456.98 through illegal means.

At a Cambridge Crown Court hearing last Thursday, Cunningham was ordered to repay an initial £36,514.60 – the value of the money and assets he currently has available – or face additional time behind bars.

Enquiries will continue in the future, should he come in to more money that could also be repaid.

Advertisements
canopyuk.com in-article

Financial investigation manager Jemima Cholmondeley-Smith, from ERSOU, said: “After it was proven that Cunningham was involved in a criminal network buying and selling drugs on a commercial scale, it was important that we took steps to take back the money he’d made illicitly.

“Our specialist investigators then built a picture of the huge sums Cunningham was making, finding that he was living a lavish lifestyle, frequently dining out and staying in expensive hotels.

“He paid no regard to the damage being caused within our communities through the drugs he was profiting from.

Ben Cunningham, 49, of Wyton Moorings, Banks End, with drugs and cash found in police raid on his Huntingdon boat.

Ben Cunningham, 49, of Wyton Moorings, Banks End, had drugs and cash stores on his Huntingdon boat.

“Using Proceeds of Crime Act legislation, we’ll continue to pursue the finances and assets of those profiting through activity such as drug dealing.”

Cunningham was arrested in March 2022 by ERSOU detectives whilst aboard the San Periel boat.

Tracy Wicks, 49, of Bunyan Road, Kempston, Bedfordshire, was also aboard the San Periel when officers raided the boat, with detectives finding scales and more cocaine within a parcel addressed to her.

Officers established that Cunningham and Wicks had also been staying at The Old Bridge Hotel, near to their mooring, spending more than £900 on accommodation and food.

Cunningham was charged and subsequently pleaded guilty to possession with intent to supply cocaine and cannabis, and possession of criminal property.

Wicks was previously handed an eight-month prison sentence, suspended for 18 months, after pleading guilty to possession of cocaine.

 

 

 

Facebook

Read More

The row broke after John Holdich gave an interview to the Local Democracy Reporting Service in which he revealed he had left the Conservative Party and had done so in 2022 The row broke after John Holdich gave an interview to the Local Democracy Reporting Service in which he revealed he had left the Conservative Party and had done so in 2022
News18 hours ago

Wayne Fitzgerald’s bruising attack on John Holdich for ‘backing these traitors but not unexpected knowing the man he is’

'Difficult decisions had to be made which John Holdich had dodged for years'

LPUK (Little People UK) Convention 2018, Marriott hotel, Leicester Saturday 25 August 2018. Picture by Terry Harris. LPUK (Little People UK) Convention 2018, Marriott hotel, Leicester Saturday 25 August 2018. Picture by Terry Harris.
News20 hours ago

Cambridgeshire Star Wars actor Warwick Davis mourns death of beloved wife Samantha

In 2018 Samantha received the Points of Light award from Prime Minister Theresa May

Two potential victims of modern slavery have been safeguarded as a cannabis factory worth more than £1.5million was seized in Graveley. Two potential victims of modern slavery have been safeguarded as a cannabis factory worth more than £1.5million was seized in Graveley.
News22 hours ago

Modern slavery victims found locked inside Cambridgeshire farm during £1.5m cannabis factory raid

Police seized 1,845 cannabis plants from an outbuilding worth £1.5m

News22 hours ago

Peterborough City Council slaps temporary tree preservation order on ‘devastated’ Gunthorpe site

The city council has set a deadline of May 15 for all representations.

Brian Johnson won a dispute with East Cambridgeshire District Council to use the study of the family home at Fordham Road, Soham to be used as a dog grooming parlour Brian Johnson won a dispute with East Cambridgeshire District Council to use the study of the family home at Fordham Road, Soham to be used as a dog grooming parlour
News2 days ago

Homeowner wins appeal against East Cambs Council to open dog grooming business

'The appeal is allowed, and planning permission is granted for a change of use'

Unfortunate – the untold story of Ursula the sea witch – is on at New Theatre, Peterborough, until Saturday April 20. It stars Shawna Hamic Unfortunate – the untold story of Ursula the sea witch – is on at New Theatre, Peterborough, until Saturday April 20. It stars Shawna Hamic
News2 days ago

REVIEW: ‘Diabolically outrageous high energy turbo charged queerness’

Shawna Hamic is Ursula the sea witch and is simply majestic

Teenage boy, 13, took this Audi from his home and crashed it into a garden wall in Crockfords Road, Newmarket, on Monday morning. Teenage boy, 13, took this Audi from his home and crashed it into a garden wall in Crockfords Road, Newmarket, on Monday morning.
News2 days ago

13-year-old boy ‘borrows’ family’s £35,000 Audi estate and crashes into wall

Teenager arrested on suspicion of aggravated vehicle taking

Darren Moore, 55, reported 14 rape or sexual assault allegations to police between June and November 2022. Darren Moore, 55, reported 14 rape or sexual assault allegations to police between June and November 2022.
News3 days ago

Victim falsely accused of rape by Ely man Darren Moore left ‘feeling suicidal’

Moore, of Douglas Court, Ely, was arrested for perverting the course of justice

Although Cllr Lucy Nethsingha (above) and other Cambridgeshire county councillors will not face re-election this May, voters in Peterborough are set to go to the polls next month to re-elect one third of Peterborough City Council Although Cllr Lucy Nethsingha (above) and other Cambridgeshire county councillors will not face re-election this May, voters in Peterborough are set to go to the polls next month to re-elect one third of Peterborough City Council
Local Council3 days ago

Lucy Nethsingha urges Peterborough voters ‘to work out how not to have a Conservative’ elected in May

Cambridgeshire County Council leader's advice to Peterborough voters

• Peterborough soul sensation Nicole Lawrence with Craig Revel Horwood • Peterborough soul sensation Nicole Lawrence with Craig Revel Horwood
News3 days ago

Craig Revel Horwood helps hospital charity raise fab_u_lous £30,000

Guest of honour was the charity’s patron, Strictly star Craig Revel Horwood.