Drugs gang boss allowed to run children’s home | News

The ringleader of a cannabis-smuggling gang has been running a residential home for vulnerable children despite a requirement for Ofsted to vet company directors.

John Smith, 66, who was sentenced to 14 years in prison in the late 1990s, co-owns an Essex children’s home that receives taxpayer-funded fees of nearly £70,000 a month.

An investigation by The Times has found scores of inexperienced or first-time owners of children’s homes who have opened residences charging as much as £1,000 a day. The homes charge to look after vulnerable children who have been taken into care and may have complex needs, including behavioural difficulties.

Other new proprietors include a cocktail bar owner, an electrician, a call centre expert, a taxi operator, a family of opticians, several property

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