the purchases were funded by a number of criminal associates
The National Crime Agency (NCA) has frozen a Leeds businessman’s £1.13 million account due to his suspected criminal links.
The NCA obtained an Account Freezing Order (AFO) as part of an investigation into 39-year-old Mansoor Mahmood Hussain. He has suspected links to serious organised criminals.
Westminster Magistrates Court granted the AFO on January 9, 2020, and it concerns an account linked to 500 M Limited, a company connected to Mr Hussain.
According to Companies House, Mr Hussain has several businesses under his name in the Stanningley, West Yorkshire area.
An AFO is a civil order rather than criminal and does not represent a finding of guilt on the part of the account holder.
It will prevent the money in the account from being dissipated and enable the NCA to further investigate the funds in order to find out whether or not they are derived from – or intended for use in – unlawful conduct.
If this is the case, the NCA will seek to recover the money.
In July 2019, as part of the same investigation, the NCA also obtained an Unexplained Wealth Order. This was related to eight properties in the UK, which had been purchased by the businessman.
Mr Hussain was ordered to reveal where he got the funds from. The money was used to acquire and develop the £10 million property portfolio.
Officers suspect that the purchases were funded by a number of criminal associates who were involved in drug trafficking, armed robberies and supplying firearms.
Andy Lewis, Head of Asset Denial at the NCA, stated:
“This latest order will enable the NCA to properly scrutinise a sizeable sum of money.”
“We are using all available tools to carry out investigations into possible illicit finance, and these efforts are a vital part of protecting the people and economy of the UK from serious and organised crime.”
The Telegraph and Argus reported that the court imposed orders, which prevents the properties from being sold, transferred or dissipated during the investigation.
The UWO against Mr Hussain was the first to be solely based on suspected links to organised crime.
They were introduced as part of powers dubbed McMafia laws, named after the BBC TV drama series and a factual book that inspired it.
The orders came into force at the beginning of 2018.
They allow investigators to look into the origin of the wealth of public figures at risk of bribery, or those suspected of links to organised crime.