60-year-old Philip Baron truly lived up to his name, becoming one of the biggest drug barons that the UK has seen in recent years. He is currently serving 18 years after being convicted in 2013 for smuggling tons upon tons of cocaine and weed into the UK. Though locked up now, he lived it up while free. Valued at close to £30 million ($43.7 million), Baron owned lavish homes in the UK and Ireland, along with a luxury villa in Spain yachts and sports cars. Recently, he was brought before a judge for a Proceeds of Crime hearing, so the state could retain some of the funds he earned illegally. However, Judge David Aubrey only ordered that Baron pay back £112,000 ($163,199).
According to the Manchester Evening News, Baron “was the mastermind of an international drugs cartel which smuggled cocaine from South America to Spain, and then to Britain.” Large quantities of cannabis was also smuggled into the UK. The Serious Organised Crime Agency (Soca) said that Baron and his crew did their thing 15 years and laundered millions of pounds. The organization is believed to have imported more than 52 tons of drugs into England worth £110 million ($160.2 million). When Baron was taken down, 28 members of his organization joined him behind bars.
When it comes to the Proceeds of Crime hearing, the Evening News reports:
William Baker, prosecuting, told how Baron was believed to have amassed a £29.5 million fortune but his only available assets that investigators could find totalled £112,000.
Baron, 60, did not contest the hearing and Judge David Aubrey ordered that the entire sum of £112,000, which involves £100,000 cash found in his possession and the rest seized in Ireland, be confiscated.
Baron has three months to fork over the cash, or he will spend an additional year in prison.
“It was driven by avarice and greed,” said the judge of Baron’s endeavors. “It was a trade and an empire and you cared not for the lives of others. You may have destroyed lives. It may have led people to commit crime. It may have led to despair and desperation. None of that concerned you. You were only concerned with yourself and leading a lavish lifestyle.”