A businessman branded a criminal has won a court victory after dirty money investigators agreed to return £13,000 seized from his home.
Cameron Dalziel feared he would lose his Motherwell home and his businesses when action was taken under the Proceeds of Crime Act.
He said some of the cash seized was part payment for a £20,000 Rolex watch for his grandson which he regardeded as a prudent investment. The rest was from the sale of a £5,000 trailer.
Police didn’t believe his explanations and suggested the cash was to pay for drugs.
Papers lodged by the procurator fiscal claimed police had intelligence that Mr Dalziel was involved in ‘criminal activity’ including drug dealing, violence, theft and fraud.
But now the Crown’s civil recovery unit has withdrawn its bid to hold on to the money seized. The cash has been returned and the authorities have agreed to pay an undisclosed chunk of Mr Dalziel’s £17,000 legal bill.
This week Mr Dalziel, who runs vehicle repair, rubbish skip and taxi businesses from C&C Transport in Motherwell’s Meadow Road, spoke of his relief that the case had been ditched after 10 months.
The action was taken out against him and his partner, Caroline Quinn.
He said his problems started when a shop claimed money he gave his son to buy a phone was counterfeit, an allegation he denied. Police searched his home as part of their investigation and seized £13,000 found in a room.
The businessman said he was told the notes were to be checked to see if they were genuine, but he was later informed the cash was being retained under the Proceeds of Crime Act. The legislation allows police to take action against suspects when there is not enough evidence to charge them with a crime.
He produced receipts relating to the Rolex purchase and the trailer sale and said he made a statement, naming the jeweller, in the presence of his solicitor.
Despite that, he claimed, police lied in their statement to the court. Mr Dalziel said they falsely claimed - in a bid to convince a sheriff that the money was for illegal purposes - that he couldn’t name the jeweller and his statement contained ‘inconsistencies and contradictions’.
Mr Dalziel added: “I went to the police office voluntarily and told them what the money was for. They said they would check it out, but less than 40 minutes later they called to say the money was being held under the Proceeds of Crime Act.
“They have blackened my name, but I have nothing to hide. They can search my yard and my home, but they’ll never find drugs. There are no skeletons in my cupboard.”