More than £190 million worth of assets have been seized from a Pakistani tycoon as part of a ‘dirty money’ investigation by the National Crime Agency (NCA).
Investigators from the NCA secured nine unexplained wealth orders that froze UK bank accounts containing £140m in funds following allegations that the cash may have been the proceeds of crime.
The money and ownership of the grade-II listed central London property will be handed over to the government in Pakistan, where Mr Hussain had been charged with fraud and corruption.
Mr Hussain is the boss of one of the biggest private-sector employers in Pakistan – Bahria Town, which specialises in properties that replicate famous buildings around the world.
The NCA first froze £20 million of Mr Hussain’s funds last December, then earlier this year secured a court order covered £120 across eight more bank accounts.
It is the largest amount frozen in an NSA investigation since the Criminal Finances Act 2017 came into force, which gives police greater powers to crack down on money laundering in the UK.
Duncan Hames, Director of Policy at the anti-corruption charity Transparency International UK, said: “We welcome news that UK law enforcement agencies have secured a substantial amount of funds for return to the people of Pakistan.
“The size of funds, in this case, is a step-change from previous efforts and shows the importance of changes introduced by the Criminal Finances Act 2017.
“Although there is scant information about the specifics of the case, returning seized funds to the country of origin, as is proposed, is an obligation under the UN convention against corruption.”