Drug dealer convicted after cocaine found in Peppa Pig lunch box ordered to pay back £500,000
PUBLISHED: 08:39 23 May 2017 | UPDATED: 09:01 23 May 2017
A drug dealer who was jailed after 1.2kg of cocaine was found stashed in a package disguised as a child's birthday present has been ordered to pay a half-a-million-pound confiscation order.
Paul McNulty, aged 51, was jailed for seven years following Avon and Somerset Constabulary’s Operation Zeus, which targeted the distribution of drugs across the South West.
A police spokesman confirmed McNulty was part of an operation targeting areas in North Somerset, but he is formerly of Grenadier Drive, in Liverpool.
In September 2015 police stopped an Audi car on the A38 in South Gloucestershire and found a package containing 1.2kg of cocaine, with an estimated street value of £120,000.
The drugs were hidden inside a Peppa Pig tea set, and were wrapped up and placed with a birthday card to look like a children’s gift.
Police found McNulty’s fingerprints when they analysed the package and searched his home, where they found £422,682.77 and 44,840 Euros hidden, including behind a false skirting board and above a cooker hood.
Police also found a cash-counting machine, champagne and a Rolex watch at the property.
On January 8 last year McNulty pleaded guilty to conspiracy to supply 1.2kg of cocaine and concealing criminal property. He was jailed for seven years and is currently at HMP Liverpool.
But on Monday, McNulty appeared at Bristol Crown Court again where he was handed a confiscation order for £523,310.80, which includes the seized cash.
Confiscation orders are designed to take the profit out of crime, by allowing courts to seize and confiscate a defendant’s property.
If McNulty fails to pay, he could be handed a further five-year prison sentence when he completes his current jail term.
Dr Kirstie Cogram, manager of Avon and Somerset Constabulary’s Financial Investigation Unit said: “We are committed to seizing any assets that criminals have gained as a result of crime.
“It is not acceptable that criminals benefit from illegal activities and we will relentlessly pursue them through the courts to ensure their money is taken.
“By doing this we show criminals they will not benefit from crime and hopefully deter others from entering a life of crime.”