Harrogate landlady ordered to repay £142k of illegally earned money

9 January 2023

A Harrogate landlady who profited from renting out her properties to a gang of drug dealers has been ordered to repay£142,000 of illegally earned money.

Yoko Banks, 74 of Scargill Road, was jailed for three-and-a-half years in August 2021 after officers discovered large-scale cannabis production at properties she had rented out to an Albanian drugs gang.

A hearing under the Proceeds of Crime Act was held at Leeds Crown Court on Friday 6 January 2023 when the court ordered Banks to repay £142,333 – the money she had made from the criminal activity.

She must repay the money within three months or face another 12 months in jail, and even then she will still be liable to repay the money.

Detective Inspector Janine Mitchell head of Financial Investigation at North Yorkshire Police, said:

The Proceeds of Crime Act allows us to deprive criminals of their illegal income. We will take every opportunity to use the legislation to its capacity to ensure no-one benefits from crime.

In this case Banks had knowingly rented out high-end Harrogate properties to the organised crime gang in return for thousands of pounds in rental income.

If you suspect anyone of living off illegally earned income, do not hesitate to call the police. If you don’t want to talk to us, you can report it to Crimestoppers anonymously.

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