A married couple spent in excess of £100K in five years on luxury holidays and high-powered cars,despite their only legitimate source of income being benefits and a part time job in a homeware store.
Drug-dealer Thomas Campbell and wife Colleen Campbell splurged £10,000 in cash for a luxury 10-night stay in Cancun, Mexico.
Other spending included a double story extension to add a bar and a larger kitchen to their semi-detached house in Clayton, trips to Bulgaria, Gran Canaria and thousands on designer clothing and jewellery.
In 2014 police launched Operation Harness to investigate the links between the Campbells’ involvement with cocaine supply in the Clayton area of Manchester.
Thomas Campbell was unemployed, but Colleen Campbell worked 16 hours a week at a clothing store and the pair were in receipt of benefits.
Despite this, the pair were driving around in high-powered cars with personalised number plates, including a brand new Audi A3, a Mercedes C63 and a BMW X5 – the latter two of which were seized when police officers raided their house in March 2015.
Shortly before this, Thomas Campbell – unemployed since 2008 – had abruptly declared himself a self-employed fitness instructor when he became aware he was of interest to the authorities.
But it was too late and investigators from GMP’s Operation Challenger Manchester had already linked him to a network of drug dealers involved in the supply of cocaine.
Thomas Campbell aged 35 of 53 Bamford Street, Clayton was sentenced to two years in prison after pleading guilty to money laundering.
Coleen Campbell also of 53 Bamford Street, Clayton was sentenced to 16 months in prison suspended for two years, after pleading guilty to money laundering.
Proceedings are now underway to reclaim the assets that the Campbells bought using the proceeds of crime.
Detective Sergeant Dominic Campbell from Greater Manchester Police’s Serious Crime and Public Protection Division said: “We know how demoralising it is for the hard-working, law-abiding members of the public to see criminals in our communities showing off their ill-gotten gains that have been funded as a result of crime.
“The public can be assured that we will leave no stone unturned and we will be relentless in pursuit of those who profit from organised crime in Greater Manchester.
“Work alongside the Crown Prosecution Service is underway to recover the Campbells’ assets that have been bought illegally.
“Greater Manchester Police is absolutely committed to dismantling organised crime at every level. We, along with our partners, will not hesitate to use the full range of legislative powers to target organised criminals and strip them of their assets and their freedom.
“I hope people look at this case and see that Greater Manchester Police will target people like Thomas Campbell and not only take away their liberty; but also their wealth.”