£10m property empire linked to money laundering handed over to NCA

A property empire worth £10m has been given up to the National Crime Agency (NCA) by a Leeds businessman suspected of being a major money launderer.

The agency announced that it secured an Unexplained Wealth Order (UWO) against eight properties owned by 40-year-old Mansoor ‘Manni’ Mahmood Hussain, who is believed by the NCA to have links to serious criminals.

The UWO, which the NCA described as part of the UK’s “armoury” in the fight against illicit finance, was the first order obtained solely on an individual’s alleged involvement in serious organised crime.

The agency argued that Hussain had failed to fully comply with the requirements of the UWO, and that his non-compliance provided a “good case” that several properties were funded by criminal associates. As part of the first recovery, 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.

Anti-money laundering expert, SmartSearch, suggested the case had demonstrated the “huge gaps” in the protection of the property market against money laundering.

“The case of Mansoor Mahmood Hussain clearly demonstrates the huge gaps in protection against money laundering that exist in the property market, through which criminals are able to pour millions of pounds a year,” commented SmartSearch managing director, Martin Cheek.
 
“That just one man was able to amass such an amount of wealth through illicit property deals shows how widespread the problem is if you multiply that across the number of criminals involved in this activity across the country and the rest of the world.

“Despite the threat from money laundering criminals being higher than ever before, the fact is it has never been simpler for companies to protect themselves and carry out the most basic checks, electronically, which would stop it at the front door.
 
“Increasing use of technology ensures businesses comply with all the current regulation and protects against criminal activity.”

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