24/03/2006

High Court freezes County Antrim couple's assets

The Assets Recovery Agency (ARA) has had the assets of a County Antrim Couple frozen by the High Court, in the first property freezing order ever to be issued in Northern Ireland.

Darryl Price and Sarah Ward have had an estimated total of around £175,000 frozen, as well as their home in Primrose Gardens in Portrush.

It is understood that the Agency has also seized two cars, a truck and a number of bank accounts belonging to the couple, totalling around £100,000.

The ARA has alleged that Mr Price obtained property through drug trafficking and benefit fraud, and was reported to the Agency after a general disparity between his expenditure and his legitimate declared income, was noticed.

It has also been stated that Ms Ward was also involved in benefit fraud, and is understood to have purchased a car whilst claiming benefit.

ARA Assistant Director, Alan McQuillan today said that the case was referred to the Agency by the PSNI and they are seeking information directly from the public in relation to this case.

Mr McQuillan added that notices will appear in local newspapers next week requesting information from anyone who has any information or knowledge involving Mr Price or Ms Ward's income, expenditure, or property holdings here or abroad, to contact them.

(EF/SP)

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