The forfeiture came following an unexplained wealth order (UWO) secured against eight properties owned by Leeds-based Mansoor ‘Manni’ Mahmood Hussain.
The UWO issued by the National Crime Agency (NCA) questioned how Hussain had managed to fund the portfolio of properties.
Hussain had links with serious criminals and in the process of defending himself inadvertently tipped off NCA investigators about more of his empire.
In all Hussain agreed to hand over 45 properties in London, Cheshire and Leeds, four parcels of land, as well as other assets and £583,950 in cash, with a combined value of £9,802,828, to satisfy the case.
Inadvertently implicated himself
After the initial UWO Hussain submitted 127 lever arch folders and a 76-page statement to explain where his money came from for the properties.
However, the NCA said in doing so he inadvertently gave investigators clues to make a bigger case against him.
A freezing order was obtained stopping the sale or transfer of the original eight properties, plus a further nine that were identified.
The NCA argued that Hussain had failed to fully comply with the requirements of the UWO, and his non-compliance provided a good case that a number of the properties were funded by criminal associates.
Convicted murderer and fraudster
The NCA noted that Hussain had links to many serious criminals and alleged he “used threats of violence and blackmail to buy his properties”.
Convicted fraudster Stephen Farman had been managing his accounts for the last 15 years while in 2016 Hussin paid a £134,000 confiscation order for Shamsher Khan who had been convicted of fraud and money laundering.
Khan’s brother Mohammed Nisar Khan is currently serving 26 years in prison for murder.
Hussain also allowed convicted armed robber Dennis Slade to stay rent free in his seven bedroom house and in a penthouse apartment.
‘Criminally obtained property’
NCA director general of the National Economic Crime Centre Graeme Biggar said: “This case is a milestone, demonstrating the power of unexplained wealth orders, with significant implications for how we pursue illicit finance in the UK.
“This groundbreaking investigation has recovered millions of pounds worth of criminally obtained property.
“It is crucial for the economic health of local communities such as Leeds, and for the country as a whole, that we ensure property and other assets are held legitimately.”
NCA head of civil recovery Andy Lewis added the Hussain thought he had hidden the criminality associated with the source of his property empire.
“Far from taking his UWO response at face value, we studied what he had and hadn’t divulged,” he said.
“We could then use that information to look far enough back to uncover the hidden skeletons in his financial closet.
“Ultimately the wealth of evidence in this case has led to a settlement which not only meets our operational goals, but frees up our investigators and legal team to pursue other cases.”