Detective cleared in money laundering case

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A detective has been cleared of money laundering and criminal property offences after all charges against him were dropped.

Detective Inspector Shakeel Ahmed, 37, was suspended from the South Yorkshire Police force after his arrest more than two years ago following raids on a number of addresses in a West Yorkshire police operation.

The officer of Maybush Road, Agbrigg, Wakefield, was one of five defendants who were due to stand trial at Leeds Crown Court this week but following legal submissions the prosecution offered no further evidence.

Richard Wright prosecuting told the court that the Crown had “a continuing duty to review any case and to determine at any stage of the proceedings whether or not there remains a realistic prospect of securing a conviction.”

He said following defence arguments to stay the indictment that duty was at the forefront of the prosecution minds.

“We are satisfied that all of those concerned in this investigation and prosecution have acted at all times in good faith; however we have more or less concluded that there doesn’t remain such prospect of securing a conviction in the case of the accused.

“Accordingly we offer no evidence on all counts and invite the court to enter verdicts of not guilty.”

Judge Scott Wolstenholme yesterday directed a not guilty verdict on Clare Batty, 38, the last of the five defendants to be formally cleared by him following the prosecution decision.

Ahmed, who served with Doncaster CID, pleaded not guilty at York Crown Court in January to seven charges of converting criminal property by allegedly using money in whole or part from criminal conduct, towards the purchase of properties in the Wakefield area.

He also denied one charge of possessing criminal property with Clare Batty, who was described at a previous hearing as his partner, and another of possessing criminal property relating to housing and council tax benefit payments.

The others cleared were Suleman Azam, 35 and Usman Azam, 26, of Belle Vue Road, Wakefield, and Gulzer Akram, 49, of Sugar Lane, Agbrigg, Wakefield, who all denied the allegations against them.

At the time of the police raids in 2009 at homes and businesses in the Sandal and Agbrigg areas of Wakefield several luxury cars were seized.