UWO: £10m worth of property ‘given up’
A Leeds businessman had to surrender apartments and homes valued at almost £10m to the National Crime Agency (NCA) as part of an Unexplained Wealth Order (UWO).
It is believed that Mansoor ‘Manni’ Mahmood Hussain, 40, a suspected money-launderer acted for numerous criminals including gangsters, murderers and a drug traffickers.
Posing as a legitimate businessman Manni developed a property portfolio across West Yorkshire, Cheshire and London over 20 years.
Outwardly, he enjoyed living the high life, with regular social media posts showing him posing with luxury items such as cars and super yachts, and crossing paths with the rich and famous.
In 2019, the NCA used the powers they had under the UWO to take a look at Manni’s books, asking him to demonstrate how he had accumulated his wealth.
Graeme Biggar, head of economic crime at the NCA, 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 ground-breaking 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.”
Mr Hussain has never been convicted of any crime, but since the investigation he has agreed a settlement with the NCA which saw him hand over 45 properties including apartments, offices and homes, as well as the Poundworld brand.
He has been left with four small properties that are mortgaged and a bank account with a positive balance.
More information about the story and Mr Hussain’s connections can be found on the BBC website.