UK Serious Fraud Office’s first use of Criminal Finances Act tool nets £1.5 million
22 Mar 2019

Britain’s Serious Fraud Office (SFO) has secured the forfeiture of £1.52 million over a fraudster’s properties using new powers under the 2017 Criminal Finances Act.

The properties were originally purchased with fraudulently obtained cash by Birmingham-based Nisar Afzal (61), who fled Britain for Pakistan in the mid-2000’s, according to the SFO.

The funds, which had been subject to an account freezing order prior to the forfeiture, will now be handed over to the Treasury department.

“The development is believed to be one of the largest seizures of its kind in the UK and is the SFO’s first use of this enforcement tool, brought in under new powers from the 2017 Criminal Finances Act,” the SFO said.

Afzal’s London-based lawyers 2nd Opinion Now did not respond to an email and telephone request for a comment.

The forfeiture could prove to be a step forward for the SFO, which has suffered a number of setbacks so far this year.

Earlier this month it was chided for failing to obtain key documents in its fraud case regarding Barclays’ Qatari deal.

In February it announced it would be scrapping its case against Rolls-Royce executives, citing a lack of evidence, and in January its case against former Tesco executives collapsed.

– Irene Madongo

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