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Internet drug baron ordered to repay £900,000

Christopher HollowayImage copyright
Wales News Service

Image caption

Holloway spent $40,000 gambling on a five-week trip to Las Vegas

An internet drugs baron who sold “legal highs” has been ordered to repay nearly £900,000 from his international operation run from his Welsh home.

Christopher Holloway was jailed for 10 years in 2014 after admitting selling drugs and money laundering in a racket police estimate was worth about £2.5m.

Cardiff Crown Court heard the 34-year-old advertised “legal highs” but police found they contained banned substances.

“You showed an obvious desire to make money,” said Judge Phillip Richards.

“Regardless of what harm it might cause to other people and society.

Image copyright
Gwent police

Image caption

One of Christopher Holloway’s website that police shut down

“There can be no doubt that your enjoyment of the proceeds ran into millions of pounds.”

Holloway ran a website from his three-bedroomed semi-detached home in Raglan, Monmouthshire, selling drugs to 12,000 customers as far away as Tokyo and California.

He used his earnings to fund a jet set lifestyle holidaying in Las Vegas, where he spent almost £25,000 gambling and £4,000 hiring sports cars.

Holloway imported the drugs from India and China before selling them on his website. His drug dealing was discovered by border staff when they intercepted a shipment on its way to his home.

When police raided his house they found more than 8kg of class A, B and C drugs, with a street value in excess of £3.5m.

Image copyright
Wales News Service

He had dozens of plastic sandwich boxes filled with powder and labelled with nicknames such as “sniff” as well as a dozen bank cards.

Officers checked his bank accounts and found £2.5 million of unexplained deposits between June 1, 2010, and March 11, 2014.

Holloway pleaded guilty to importation of controlled drugs, possession with intent to supply controlled drugs, supplying controlled drugs and money laundering.

“Holloway made over £884,000 as a result of crimes including money laundering and supplying controlled drugs,” said Detective Sergeant Michael Preston.

“Financial investigators found those funds, froze them and a court ruled that they will be permanently taken from him.

“This means that as well as serving a lengthy prison sentence, Holloway will not benefit from his crimes at all.”

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