A thug serving a ten-year sentence for kidnap has been ordered to forfeit an estimated £ 50,000 worth of cash and property under the Proceeds of Crime Act.

Ricky Fidler, 22, was at the centre of a large-scale conspiracy which saw him and four others jailed for more than 44 years combined for their part in a horrific kidnap plot of two men in North Tyneside.

Fidler and his accomplices forced entry to an address in East Howden, cable tied their victims and bundled them into the white Vito Mercedes van on July 21, 2022.The Northern Echo: Ricky Fidler, 22, was at the centre of a large-scale conspiracy

Their plot quickly unravelled after police were alerted to a report of a man having fallen from a moving van on Coast Road, still bound at the wrists with cable ties.

An investigation was launched by specialist officers from Northumbria Police, and Fidler was arrested a few days later day after he was suspected to have been involved.

When police conducted searches of his home in the West Moor area of North Tyneside, they discovered a large amount of Rolex watches and cash – some of which was hidden in a cavity in the wall.

In April 2023, Fidler was jailed after pleading guilty to two counts of kidnap, aggravated burglary, dangerous driving, and two counts of assault.

A series of complex financial investigations under the Proceeds of Crime Act have been ongoing ever since after initial enquiries failed to identify a legitimate income.

Last week, a judge granted a forfeiture order, deeming Fidler’s property to have been derived from crime and allowing this to be recoverable by police.

This means police have been able to recover £13,005 of suspected criminal cash and the Rolex watches with an estimated value of £37,000.

Praising the work, Detective Inspector Phil Thoburn, of Northumbria Police’s Crime Department, said: “Fidler is a dangerous criminal with well-established links to serious and organised crime.

“He and his collaborators have blighted our communities with increasing levels of violence and unacceptable behaviour, so I’m sure it’s a relief to everyone that he is serving a long sentence in prison.

“But the work doesn’t stop there; thanks to extensive detailed investigative work, we’ve been able to further disrupt individuals linked to organised crime, and take back large amounts of money which can be better spent helping out communities.”

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Det Insp Thoburn added: “The granting of this forfeiture order marks the end of a two-and-a-half-year cross-cutting investigation and hopefully shows our communities just how committed we are to achieving meaningful results.

“As part of Operation Sentinel, we will continue to tackle organised crime by systematically, dismantling their groups and, through the Proceeds of Crime Act, stripping them of their assets and cash.

“The money seized from Fidler will be re-invested back into the community and will help fund a range of grassroots organisations.”