A Yorkshire businessman with links to serious criminals has lost his vast property empire worth nearly £10 million after a National Crime Agency (NCA) investigation.
The agency secured an Unexplained Wealth Order (UWO) against eight properties owned by 40-year-old Mansoor ‘Manni’ Mahmood Hussain, formerly of Leeds.
The UWO – part of the UK’s armoury in the fight against illicit finance – was the first one obtained solely on an individual’s alleged involvement in serious organised crime.
He submitted 127 lever arch folders and a 76-page statement to explain where his money came from for the properties – but he inadvertently gave NCA investigators clues to make a bigger case against him.
A freezing order was obtained stopping the sale or transfer of the original eight properties, plus a further nine that were identified.
The NCA argued that Mr Hussain had failed to fully comply with the requirements of the UWO, and his non-compliance provided a good case that a number of the properties were funded by criminal associates.
Mr Hussain, who has links to a murderer jailed for 26 years, an armed robber and a convicted fraudster who acted as his accountant, used threats of violence and blackmail to buy his properties, the NCA claimed.
As part of the first recovery in a UWO case, Mr Hussain agreed to hand over 45 properties in London, Cheshire and Leeds, four parcels of land, as well as other assets and £583,950 in cash, with a combined value of £9,802,828.
The settlement was agreed on 24th August, and the High Court sealed the recovery order on 2 October 2020.
Graeme Biggar, NCA director General of the National Economic Crime Centre, said: “This case is a milestone, demonstrating the power of Unexplained Wealth Orders, with significant implications for how we pursue illicit finance in the UK.
“This ground breaking investigation has recovered of millions of pounds worth of criminally obtained property. It is ...