"we have taken action against key associates suspected of links"
After the jailing of the Saeed brothers from Wolverhampton in December 2018 for their large-scale cocaine supply operation reaching out to the Welsh Borders, The National Crime Agency (NCA) has now seized their property.
The NCA used its proceeds of crime powers to retrieve the property worth £1.7 million linked to Abdul, Mohammed and Shabaz Saeed.
The Saeed brothers were the leaders of a gang of nine men and four women who operated in the West Midlands, Staffordshire and towards Wales. The criminal gang was jailed for more than 50 years in total.
During their trial at Staffordshire Crown Court, it was revealed that police during the investigation which started in 2013, intercepted cocaine with a street value of more than £200,000, £40,000 in cash and 132 mobile phones.
The NCA used a Civil Recovery Order by Consent which was made at the High Court in London on Monday, January 14, 2019.
The order was granted under the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 and gave NCA full authority to recover and seize property.
The property was associated with two individuals. Namely, Sukhjinder Kaur, aged 35, of Rugeley in Staffordshire, and her brother-in-law, Jasvir Singh, aged 45, who is also known by the name Lashman Chatha.
It was alleged by the NCA that Kaur was laundering money for the drug gang. She used the illicit funds to purchase properties and was also involved in mortgage fraud.
Between 2010 and 2013, the money laundering enabled Kaur to purchase a property portfolio worth over £2 million.
The properties were nought under her own name and that of her company, Lashman Estates Limited.
The NCA says that the acquisitions of the property were made under the direct control of Jasvir Singh, who also went by the name Lashman Chatha, which was used for the company name.
It was discovered that three of the properties were used by the Saeed brothers gang specifically for their drug operation. An extensive underground cannabis factory was found in one of the properties seized.
Kaur and Singh denied their involvement in the money laundering and property fraud initially. However, after they completely failed to provide any evidence that the properties were bought using legitimate funds, the NCA took action against them.
The pair reached a settlement agreement based on the strength of the NCA’s case against them and to try and avoid a lengthy trial.
The agreement resulted in the recovery by consent of six of the properties which have an approximate net value of £1.7 million.
The properties seized by the NCA are:
- A property in Summerfield Road, Wolverhampton, West Midlands
- A plot of land in Darlaston Road, Wednesbury, West Midlands
- A property in Darlaston Road, Wednesbury, West Midlands
- A property in King Street, Fenton, West Midlands
- A property in Branston Street, Birmingham, West Midlands
- A property in Middletown, Welshpool, Wales
For the success of this NCA operation, they were assisted by the West Midlands RART (Regional Assets Recovery Team), who made the initial request, and they were also supported by Staffordshire Police
The NCA’s Head of Asset Denial, Civil Recovery and Tax Investigations, Andy Lewis, said:
“The powers that the National Crime Agency has under the Proceeds of Crime Act to seize property and other assets that we can show are linked to criminality often go under the radar.
“Our message today though is simple. We will utilise all the powers we have to relentlessly pursue those associated with criminality and in doing so will take away the very assets that criminal activity funds.
“While Staffordshire Police were able to prosecute and convict those involved directly in the drug dealing, we have taken action against key associates suspected of links to that network.”