Thursday Jun 23 2022

British-Pakistani brothers to pay NCA £4.3m in assets probe

NCA headquarters. — AFP/File
NCA headquarters. — AFP/File

  • British crime agency alleges property portfolio of two brothers was funded by proceeds of their unlawful conduct
  • Alleges brothers used their portfolio to launder hundreds of thousands of pounds worth of criminal money.
  • Official says “taking proceeds of crime off individuals is particularly significant for Bradford community.

Two British Pakistani brothers from the Bradford area in England have agreed to pay the British National Crime Agency (NCA) approximately £4.3 million following a civil recovery investigation into their multi-million pound property portfolio.

The NCA had alleged that the property portfolio of two brothers — Parvez Akhtar, 55 alias 'Boney' and Zaheer Akhtar Nazir, 50 — was funded by the proceeds of their unlawful conduct, including money laundering and fraud.

Parvez and Zaheer have been working as property developers in Bradford for over 30 years, holding a large portfolio.

During the trial at the London High Court, the NCA alleged the brothers used their property portfolio to launder hundreds of thousands of pounds worth of criminal monies on behalf of other prolific criminals.

The NCA also alleged that Parvez has been involved in a range of serious criminal activities since the 1990s including international VAT fraud, money laundering and deception. The evidence uncovered during investigation showed he had links with a number of organised criminals both in the UK and overseas.

Parvez is well known in Bradford and has previously appeared in YouTube videos showing off his highly valuable cars and sporting memorabilia, said the NCA in a press release.

Andy Lewis, Head of Civil Recovery at the NCA said: “Taking the proceeds of crime off individuals such as these brothers is particularly significant for the Bradford community. Through this work we have sent a clear message that no one is above the law, while simultaneously taking away the ability of the pair to benefit from what we assessed as the proceeds of crime.

"This action demonstrates to the criminal fraternity that we will use every available tool to disrupt and help prevent money laundering by criminals and their associates.”

The NCA said that the settlement with two brothers will include a three-storey townhouse in Paddington, West London worth approximately £1.75 million and two other properties in Yorkshire worth approximately £300,000.

The £4.3 million agreed figure is surely a gross figure and will need to take into account the outstanding debt on properties forfeit. The civil recovery order was reached by agreement and does not amount to an admission of guilt by Parvez or Zaheer, said the NCA.