Hereford & Worcester

Jailed Redditch bank worker Ben Sookia must pay back £891k

A jailed bank worker who stole more than £752,000 from the branch where he worked has been told to pay back £891,000 or face a further sentence.

Ben Sookia, 26, worked at the Halifax branch in Evesham Walk, Redditch. He was given a five-year term after admitting theft and fraud charges.

Police said Sookia stole the money to fund a gambling addiction.

He must pay back the money within six months or serve an additional four-year prison sentence.

West Mercia Police said Sookia stole money from the branch's cash machines and transferred over £560,000 into accounts he owned.

Millions of pounds

Sookia, of Outwood Close, Redditch, admitted three charges of theft by employee and three of fraud by abuse of position and was jailed at Hereford Crown Court in March.

The confiscation order was obtained at Worcester Crown Court on Thursday.

The force said he had benefitted by £5,393,456 from his crimes and finances showed he had assets of £891,041 available for confiscation.

It has already recovered £695,717.84, most of which came from an online gambling account in Gibraltar.

Sookia needs to find the outstanding balance of £195,324 by the end of the year or face the further sentence and still owe the outstanding monies on his eventual release.

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