28 September 2017
A convicted drug trafficker is paying back just £6 a week on a £172,000 confiscation order – despite accruing daily interest of £36.99 a day.
Tarn Bowler-Degen, 31, of Southville, Bristol, was the head of a cannabis trafficking operation and was jailed for seven years and six months in 2011.
He was found in possession of approximately 14 kg of cannabis and investigators proved his crime group had previously supplied more than a ton of cannabis.
He was convicted of conspiracy to possess drugs with intent to supply.
Bowler-Degen, formerly of Kensington, London, was judged to have benefited from his crimes by £172,468 and a judge ruled in 2013 that he should repay the cash.
Based on financial information available, the court assessed he could only pay £6 a week.
So far he has paid £3,704 but accrued interest has taken the balance to £218,072.
Even if interest was stopped on the figure, it would take him almost 699 years to repay the sum at £6 a week – or £312 a year.
In July 2014 Bowler-Degen, who has ties to Bournemouth, was jailed for another 730 days for failure to pay.
The NCA believes he has hidden assets and is appealing for help to trace them under Operation Repay – an agency drive to take back criminals’ gains.
Nigel Kirby, deputy director, Economic Crime Command, said: “We are very keen to hear from anyone who knows Bowler-Degen and who might be able to help identify any financial or business interests he has.
“Our appeal is backed by a court order designed to hit criminals in the pocket. It doesn’t matter how long it takes, we will keep hunting the assets and money criminals have.”
Members of the public wishing to report information can contact the NCA Control Centre on 0370 4967622 giving the reference 'Operation Repay'.