Wednesday, 21 October 2020

Property tycoon Malik Riaz’s UK assets to be returned to Pakistan

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LONDON: Pakistani property tycoon Malik Riaz has agreed to pay UK’s National Crime Agency (NCA) £190m in a settlement after eight UK bank accounts linked to him were frozen in August 2019. “The assets will be returned to the State of Pakistan,” the NCA said, referring to the settlement amount.

The UK watchdog found that money used to purchase these properties was “suspected to have been derived from bribery and corruption”. However, no individuals were named.

Malik Riaz would pay the amount for his disputed properties that include a UK property, One Hyde Park Place, London, W2 2LH, valued at approximately £50 million and funds in the frozen accounts.

“The £190 million settlement is the result of an investigation by the NCA into Malik Riaz Hussain, a Pakistani national, who is one of the biggest private sector employers in Pakistan,” NCA said.

Sharing details of the investigation, the NCA said eight account-freezing orders were secured in August 2019 at Westminster Magistrates’ Court. This was in connection with funds worth £120 million.

“The settlement is a civil matter and does not represent a finding of guilt,” the NCA statement emphasised.

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