"he led a good lifestyle. But that’s now come to an end"
Wealthy businessman Mansoor Hussain has agreed to hand over nearly £10 million of assets after he was accused of being a money launderer for major crimelords in the north of England.
The assets include dozens of properties across England.
The 40-year-old property developer from Leeds received an “unexplained wealth order” by the National Crime Agency (NCA), which compelled him to provide evidence of the source of his wealth.
Hussain agreed to hand over nearly £10 million worth of properties, land and cash in an out-of-court settlement after the NCA confronted him with the evidence it had found.
A finding against him in a high court trial could have led to a more severe penalty.
Hussain, who has been pictured with the likes of Beyonce and Meghan Markle, represented himself in talks with the NCA. The settlement was agreed on August 24, 2020, and the recovery order was sealed on October 2, 2020.
The NCA said they were unable to build a case against Hussain, who has no criminal convictions.
It was alleged that Hussain had links to a Bradford-based gang headed by Mohammed Nisar Khan, known as ‘Meggy‘, who was jailed for 26 years for murder.
Hussain was also allegedly linked to an organised crime group which was run by gangster and convicted armed robber Dennis Slade.
Graeme Biggar, Director-General of the National Economic Crime Centre, NCA, 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 groundbreaking investigation has recovered millions of pounds worth of criminally obtained property.
“It is crucial for the economic health of local communities such as Leeds, and for the country as a whole, that we ensure property and other assets are held legitimately.”
Andy Lewis, NCA head of civil recovery, said:
“He had a huge number of properties, he led a good lifestyle. But that’s now come to an end, now we’ve taken away the vast majority.”
The NCA had been investigating organised crime in the Leeds and Bradford area when they suspected Hussain had been money laundering for the gangs.
Mr Lewis said Hussain was a businessman with no convictions but had strong associations with notorious criminals in the area.
Reportedly, he had allowed Slade to stay rent-free in his seven-bedroom house in Leeds, and later rent-free in a penthouse apartment in the city.
Hussain complied after being hit with the order. He supplied a 76-page witness statement as well as 127 arch lever files of documentary evidence.
However, Mr Lewis argued that the evidence actually helped the NCA case and investigators identified a larger property portfolio than was previously known.
“Our case was it had all been financed by organised crime.”
Hussain had a large number of companies and bank accounts. The NCA subsequently issued an account freezing order against him.
Mr Lewis explained that the NCA was unable to launch a criminal prosecution because the “seed funding” for Hussain’s assets dated back 20 years, which would have been too difficult to trace.
He went on to say that an out-of-court settlement was more beneficial for the taxpayer rather than a high court trial.
The businessman has handed over 45 properties in London, Cheshire and Leeds, four parcels of land, £600,000 in cash and other assets worth a total of £9.8 million.
Mr Lewis said Hussain has lost most of his assets but was left with four “highly mortgaged” properties.
Mr Biggar added that criminal prosecution was always the preference but it is not always possible.