UK REAL ESTATE COMPANY LAUNDERING MONEY FOR IRAN!!!
DIFFERENT POINT OF VIEW by Monte Friesner >
Financial Crime Consultant for WANTED SA >
Saturday October 23, 2010 >
WANTED SA has learned that Nasrullah Khan used his Cheetham Hill estate agent business as a front to filter Hundreds of Millions of pounds of ‘dirty money’.
Khan, 51, was the head of a ‘slick and professional’ criminal enterprise which was caught with £250,000 in cash the Manchester Crown Court heard.
The wealthy property owner and respected pillar of the Cheetham Hill community denied any part in the scam, but was found guilty of money laundering after a precise trial.
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Investigators in the UK on information from a Panama Intelligence Group that they have said they believe the gang was laundering up to £3,000,000 a week over a considerable period of time.
The company manager, 46-year-old Fazal Hussain – described by the judge as the chief executive of the racket – was jailed for seven years.
The total laundered will never be known, because the gang shredded many of their bank statements and documents to cover their tracks; however, the authorities were able to track some of the money that came from several remittance firms in the UK.
Mark Owens, 28, a courier who transported the dirty money from Liverpool to Manchester and delivered it for laundering, was jailed for three years. Owens, a married dad-of-one also had to have paid £500 for each trip, the court heard.
The money laundering racket was smashed by the Serious Organized Crime Agency in July 2008 by receiving tips from the Intelligence Firm in Panama. Mark Connor, prosecuting, told the court that officers raided Khan Properties on July 15, and seized two bags containing a total of £250,000.
CCTV images showed Hussain taking the bags into the property earlier that week. The group provided a ‘collect and deposit’ service to launder criminal cash – transporting money in “hold alls” before splitting it into small amounts across third-party bank accounts. Evidence presented in court showed that in just three weeks the group deposited more than £970,000.
Hussain, of Woodlands Street, Cheetham, denied the same charge, but was also found guilty by a jury. Owens, of Langley Beck, Widnes, Cheshire, earlier admitted his part and pleaded guilty to entering into a money laundering agreement.
A fourth man – Muhammed Asif Habib – failed to attend the trial. He was convicted of money laundering and sentenced in his absence to three years. Police believe he has fled the country and is in Iran at present.
Benjamin Myers, Defense Barrister for Khan, told the judge: “There were significant sums being laundered, but the benefit to those doing the laundering would be relatively small. It is very easy for people to point to him as he’s the owner of the business and it’s all down to him. But he was not the sole architect.” Khan has refused to cooperate and reveal the name of the Remittance Firms for fear for his family.
Judge Roger Thomas said Khan and Hussain were intelligent and hard-working men who had used their skills for ‘dishonest means’.
He added: “Without people such as you laundering the proceeds of crime, those who commit the crime would be less motivated to do it.”
Ian Cruxton, deputy director of SOCA, said: “We are determined to make life as difficult as possible for criminals and that means attacking their support networks as well.” Money Laundering is a filthy business especially involving Iran.
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