Property fraud leads to one of Britain’s biggest asset seizures.
The Serious Fraud Office has secured the forfeiture of over £1.5 million from convicted fraudster Nisar Afzal, 61, of Birmingham.
The forfeited money came from the sale of two properties in Birmingham, which Afzal originally bought with the funds from a series of long firm frauds. Afzal, who fled Britain for Pakistan in the mid-2000s, was also implicated in a series of mortgage frauds, for which his brother, Saghir Afzal, was convicted and jailed in 2011 for 13 years.
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.
Mark Thompson, Chief Operating Officer at the Serious Fraud Office said: “Nisar Afzal decided to become a fugitive from justice instead of remaining in the UK to answer for his activities.
“Our actions send a clear message to anyone involved in fraud, bribery or corruption – that we will work tirelessly to get back the proceeds of your crimes.”
The money recovered will be returned to the Treasury and invested in public projects. Prior to the forfeiture, the money was subject to an account freezing order to prevent Nisar Afzal from withdrawing funds.