On Tuesday 1 September, two security company directors appeared before the Central Criminal Court at the Old Bailey in London. John Anah and Tony O’Gonna, co-directors of ANCO UK Ltd, AA Guarding Ltd and Metro Guards UK Ltd were ordered to pay a confiscation totalling £666,697 under the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 (Anah was ordered to pay £175,000 and O’Gonna was ordered to pay £491,697).
Both Anah and O’Gonna have until 1 December 2015 to pay or face default custodial sentences of two years three months and three years six months respectively.
This was the conclusion of confiscation proceedings initiated by the Security Industry Authority (SIA) in partnership with the London Regional Asset Recovery Team (RART) after Anah and O’Gonna were found guilty of supplying 33 unlicensed security officers in relation to ten separate contracts around the greater London area.
Nathan Salmon, the SIA’s Investigations Manager, said:“Since the conviction of Anah and O’Gonna in June 2014, the SIA has worked in partnership with the London RART to identify the criminal benefit of these directors through their businesses. This investigation has uncovered offences of using unlicensed security operatives far beyond the offences which led to their convictions.”
Salmon continued: “Between 2007 and 2014, this group of companies consistently used scores of security operatives who were not licensed by the SIA or who had licences which had expired. Under the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002, our police service partners have been able to identify assets associated with this criminality which has finally led to the confiscations against the pair.”
In addition, Salmon told Risk UK: “I believe such confiscations are important for the security industry. Principally, we seek to remove the financial benefit. Security regulation-related offending has arguably provided an unfair competitive advantage. Furthermore, removing assets means re-entry into the security industry market is more difficult. In this case, that’s even more challenging with the Director Disqualification Orders already under effect.”
Concluding his statement, Salmon said: “I would like to thank both the London RART and the SIA’s Formal Investigation Team for their diligent work in achieving this result.”
The SIA is the organisation responsible for regulating the private security industry in the UK, reporting directly to the Home Secretary Theresa May under the Terms and Conditions of the Private Security Industry Act 2001.
The Regulator’s main duties are the compulsory licensing of individuals undertaking designated activities and managing the voluntary Approved Contractor Scheme for security companies.