A DRUGS boss who imported more than £15 million of cannabis hidden in boxes of lettuce has had just £18,000 of his profits confiscated.

Scott Byrne, from Sandalwood, Westhoughton, was the Mr Big of a gang who shipped two and half tons of the drug to bogus firms in the UK in shipments of kitchen parts and vegetables.

He is currently serving a 14 years and two month prison sentence after being convicted, along with six others, in July last year.

At a proceeds of crime hearing at Manchester Crown Court Mark Stephenson, prosecuting, told Judge Michael Leeming that Byrne has benefited from his crimes to the tune of almost £9.9 million.

But the only assets Byrne have which can be found are a watch and two iPhones, worth a total of just £18,235.

The luxury watch is valued at £17,965, an iPhone 7 at £120 and an iPhone 8 is worth £150.

"All those will have to be sold, of course," said Judge Leeming.

"He has already signed a release in that regard," added Mr Stephenson.

Judge Leeming certified that 33-year-old Byrne had benefited in the amount of £9,880, 220 from his crime and made a confiscation order that he must pay £18,235 within three months or have a further 12 months in prison added onto his sentence.

There will be a further proceeds of crime hearing in September for Byrne's accomplices.

If investigators discover Byrne has any other assets at a future date then they can return to court to ask for them to also be confiscated.

Byrne had used legitimate transportation companies, unaware of the illicit substances they were carrying, to carry the drugs cargo from Spain in seven deliveries between July 2017 and November 2018.

Cannabis was concealed in boxes of oven parts, destined for a non-existent firm, and trays of lettuce and peppers.

Judge Leeming previously told Byrne: “You were at the very heart of the conspiracy, you were involved in every aspect of it.

“You were careful not to get your hands dirty and you recruited others.

“The objective was obviously to flood the streets, pubs and clubs in the North West and other parts of the country with cannabis and the making of large amounts of money was the primary aim and motivation. This offending involved a complete disregard for the impact this sort of criminality has in our society.”