"The £190 million settlement is the result of an investigation"
Pakistani businessman Malik Riaz Hussain has agreed to hand over his luxury London property, cash and other assets worth £190 million to the UK.
Hussain, who is a property developer, has handed his Grade II listed building 1 Hyde Park Place, worth £50 million and £140 million over to investigators.
This comes after his funds were frozen by the National Crime Agency (NCA).
Worth approximately £750 million, Hussain is one of Pakistan’s wealthiest and most powerful businessmen.
Although he is primarily known for his work on upmarket gated housing communities, Hussain also does a lot of charity work.
Since 2018, Hussain has faced legal battles over his business deals in Pakistan, however, he has denied any wrongdoing.
On December 3, 2019, the NCA announced that it had made an agreement with Hussain’s family to take over the bank accounts and the property worth £190 million.
In a statement, the agency said: “The £190 million settlement is the result of an investigation by the NCA into Malik Riaz Hussain, a Pakistani national, whose business is one of the biggest private-sector employers in Pakistan.”
It was reported that the settlement is a civil matter and does not indicate that the Pakistani tycoon is guilty of any criminal activities.
As the assets were seized under the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002, Hussain’s lawyers are aware of Unexplained Wealth Orders (UWOs), otherwise known as ‘McMafia’ orders.
After suspecting that a quantity of cash was the proceeds of crime, NCA investigators secured nine freezing orders which covered £140 million in UK bank accounts.
The agency added: “In August 2019, eight account freezing orders were secured at Westminster Magistrates’ Court in connection with funds totalling around £120 million.
“These followed an earlier freezing order in December 2018 linked to the same investigation for £20 million.
“All of the account freezing orders relate to money held in UK bank accounts.”
The NCA has now announced that an agreement had been made with Hussain for him to give up the cash and ownership of the London property, which overlooks Hyde Park.
The assets will be handed over to the Pakistan government.
Malik Riaz Hussain is the owner of Bahria Town, one of the largest private-sector employers in Pakistan. The development features a replica Eiffel Tower and will have a golf course once completed.
He denied any wrongdoing in a tweet, posting:
“Some habituals are twisting the NCA report 180 degrees to throw mud at me. I sold our legal & declared property in UK to pay £190M to Supreme Court Pakistan against Bahria Town Karachi.
“NCA press release says the settlement is a civil matter and does not represent a finding of guilt. I am a proud Pakistan and I will remain until I breathe my last.”