Ex-England footballer turned drug smuggler accountant could lose £1m of assets

A former professional footballer may lose her property after prosecutors turned their focus to the convicted woman who played key part in a drug smuggling gang.

Faye Dunn, 38, became involved in the criminal operation after her businesses began to struggle during the Covid-19 pandemic.

The mum-of-two was convicted alongside her father, Michael Dunn, 66, after detectives hacked the EncroChat network the criminals used to smuggle drugs.

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Operation Venetic, the name of the case, saw Faye Dunn work under the moniker 'StiffNinja'. Michael Dunn was involved in the same activity, going by 'ZincBat' on EncroChat.

In September 2022, she was jailed for three years and nine months for her "operational role" within a large drugs supply syndicate. She cried in the dock as she was sentenced.

Friday saw a hearing at Liverpool Crown Court as Nicola Daley, prosecuting, stepped up efforts to seize the illicit profits made by the convicted pair under the Proceeds of Crime Act (POCA).

Matthew Buckland, representing both Dunns for the hearing, asked the judge for more time to resolve the case.

"There are a number of properties involved in this case," he said, "many of them overseas, some of them cash, that needs to be resolved."

The judge, Recorder Eric Lamb KC, agreed with Buckland and set a hearing for May 10.

During the case last year, Faye Dunn was described as an "accountant for an organised criminal enterprise", as she would smuggle dirty money abroad.

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Ms Daley said during the trial: "She played an operational role within the drugs supply chain but appeared to have significant influence upon others in the chain, facilitating meetings between criminal associates in relation to the supply of controlled drugs, and also instructed others to undertake tasks such as the collection and movement of packages of both drugs and cash.

"Significantly she appears to have acted as the accountant for the organised criminal enterprise and has concealed not only her EncroChat device but also cash when travelling abroad in order to evade detection by the authorities."

During the trial, the court was told Dunn sent a 'tick-list' to her then partner Stephen Canty, showing an income of £1,155,548, and details of expenditure worth £431,700.

Ms Daley said the list included £100,000 spent on a house, £25,000 on cars and £21,500 on a watch.


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