Published On: Mon, Dec 22nd, 2014 on 6:47 pm

Bradford businessman jailed for money-laundering and fraud

Aqeel Khan Businessman

Aqeel Khan. Photo: Simon Vine Photography.

A businessman who laundered millions of pounds of criminal cash and defrauded financial institutions has been jailed.

Aqeel Khan, 38, of Lane End, Clayton, acted as a go-to man for criminals across the north of England, using his profits to buy luxury cars and property across West Yorkshire.

One of his investments included the Old Bus Depot in Leeds Road, a well-known Bradford landmark, which he purchased for £2.5 million in 2011.

Aqeel’s network included his brother, Atique Anwar Khan, 34, of Ewart Street, Bradford, who coordinated the distribution of cash into third party bank accounts.

Aqeel’s employee Mohammed Zulqurnain, 36, of Whetley Hill, Bradford, laundered money through his accounts and had property assets put into his name, while associate Ajib Khan, 34, of Heath Road, Bradford, also admitted laundering money into property.

Almost £100,000 of cash contaminated with drugs were also seized from Ajib’s home address.

In total, the group had £10 million pounds of property assets, the funding for which had come largely from cash laundered through multiple bank accounts.

Aqeel and Zulqurnain also used insurance brokers as fronts for their criminal enterprise, obtaining finance from legitimate financial institutions for non-existent or vastly inflated insurance policies. The money was then used to fund property purchases or Aqeel’s lifestyle.

All four pleaded guilty to money laundering charges, with Aqeel and Zulqurnain additionally admitting fraud offences and Aqeel also pleading guilty to possessing a forged bank document and contempt of court charges.

A judge at Leeds Crown Court sentenced Aqeel to six years in prison today.

Zulqurnain was handed a two and a half year sentence, while Ajib and Atique got two years and six months suspended sentences respectively.

NCA branch commander, David Norris, said: “Aqeel Khan presented himself as a successful and wealthy businessman and property developer. In reality this was all a front and he was the head of a large-scale, sophisticated money laundering operation.

“He was also defrauding financial institutions out of millions of pounds and using the profits to fund his own lavish lifestyle. Organised criminals need people who can launder their cash to make it look legitimate and this group provided that service on an industrial scale.”

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