Riaz agrees to hand over assets to UK's NCA


From Sardar Shahab
LONDON: Pakistani business tycoon Malik Riaz Hussain has agreed to hand over cash and assets worth £190 million to the National Crime Agency in the United Kingdom (UK).
NCA in a recent tweet disclosed the news about a settlement with a Pakistani businessman. The tweet said, “The NCA has agreed a £190m settlement with a family that owns large property developments in Pakistan and elsewhere after a frozen funds investigation”.
The NCA has accepted a settlement offer in region of £190m which includes a UK property, 1 Hyde Park Place, London, W2 2LH, valued at approximately £50 million and all of the funds in the frozen accounts.
The agency also said that agreement had been reached with Hussain to hand over the cash and ownership of the exclusive address, which overlooks Hyde Park, adding that the assets will be given to the government of Pakistan. In August 2019 eight account freezing orders were secured at Westminster Magistrates’ Court in connection with funds totalling around £120m. These orders followed an earlier freezing order secured in December 2018 linked to the same investigation for £20m. All of the account freezing orders relate to money held in UK bank accounts.
Earlier this year in March, the Supreme Court of Pakistan accepted an offer of Bahria Town (Pvt) Ltd owned by Malik Riaz to settle cases pertaining to its Malir or Karachi Superhighway project in lieu of payment of Rs460 billion. The deal was struck when the counsel representing the developer agreed to enhance their offer to Rs460bn from the earlier Rs450bn. “The offer is accepted,” Justice Sheikh Azmat Saeed had declared after a brief hearing about implementation of the court’s judgement of May 4, 2018 in which it was held that grant of land to the Malir Development Authority (MDA) by the Sindh government, its exchange with the land of private land developers (Bahria Town) and anything done under provisions of the Colonisation of Government Land Act 1912 by the provincial government was illegal and of no legal existence.