26 Aug 2020
The National Crime Agency has seized 59 properties worth a total of £17 million from an organised crime group with links to the drug trade.
The law enforcement agency spent more than eight years dismantling the network of properties, the majority of which are in Birmingham and were used for money laundering and to hide criminal funds.
Most of the properties were residential homes, although the agency also seized a gym and three properties in the seaside resort of Bangor, Co Down. They were connected to Alam and Ameran Zeb Khan, brothers who have been imprisoned for their involvement in the heroin trade and money laundering.
Alam Zeb Khan has been convicted of heroin smuggling, cocaine supply and of being part of a gang of 32 who laundered more than £180 million for drug traffickers. Ameran Zeb Khan was the ringleader of a Birmingham gang who conspired to smuggle £19 million of heroin into the UK from Pakistan.
The agency found that the pair would use family members and other associates to hold properties on their behalf in order to conceal and launder the proceeds of their crimes.
The agency said that the properties were acquired using the proceeds of crime, including heroin importation and distribution, fraud and money laundering. Among the properties seized was a house in Birmingham worth £235,000, which was being renovated as the Zeb Khan family home. One premises was a commercial building that was converted into a gym called Rampage Fitness. Two other properties consisted of seven and five apartments.
The majority of the 59 properties recovered were private residential properties that were rented out in the Bordesley Green and Selly Oak areas of Birmingham.
By Fiona Hamilton, The Times, 26 August 2020
Read more at The Times
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