The Birmingham Mail outlined the case brought by the Regional Assets Recovery Team West Midlands (RART) and the Economic Crime Unit of West Midlands Police.
The group, all jailed in 2015, used forged financial documents to secure mortgages on properties in the southern suburbs of Birmingham between 2003 to 2010, specifically in Bournville, Selly Oak and Moseley. The properties were renovated and then rented, mainly to students generating large rental returns.
At a Proceeds of Crime Act hearing at Birmingham Crown Court on January 4, Arshid Khan, 47, was ordered to repay £8,010,881 within three months or face a further 10 years in jail.
The gang was led by Mohammed Suleman Khan. His brother, Shokut Zuman, 44, was told to repay £4,058,852 within three months or face another nine years behind bars while broker Mohammed Mughal, 67, was ordered to hand over £1,385,775 within three months or face an extra seven years in prison.
Sale of large number of properties
Detective Inspector Jonathan Jones, head of the Regional Asset Recovery Team, said: “This represents one of the team’s best ever confiscation results and the conclusion of almost seven years hard work.
“While a significant element of this represents hidden assets, we still expect to enforce the sale of a large number of properties restrained in the UK and raise around £4.5m.
“Additionally, lengthy sentences were imposed to Khan, Zuman and Mughal which will further persuade them to pay up any hidden assets.
“This has been a hard-fought operation which has ended with a spectacular result.”
Two years ago Det Insp Andy Bannister, who led the team investigating the crime, said the group took advantage of the buoyant housing market at that time.
“They obtained fraudulent mortgages which afforded them the opportunity to obtain and develop a significant property portfolio that they would not have had, had they made genuine declarations,” he said.
“They exploited frailties in the mortgage application systems that don’t exist today.”
Uncooperative during interviews
The gang, who were uncooperative during police interviews, later tried to blame an established broker for falsifying the documents, handing his name to the police after he had died of a heart attack.
Gang leader Mohammed Suleman Khan was originally sentenced to four years in April 2013 after defrauding the taxman of £450,000 in an unrelated case.
However, the scam was exposed after police raided Khan’s Moseley home and discovered plans for his own ‘Buckingham Palace’ in Pakistan, complete with library, cinema and servant quarters.
Khan, 45, later faced a proceeds of crime hearing but was hit with the extra ten-year sentence after failing to pay £2,209,090.