A Shipley man who was jailed for nine years for his role in a money laundering scam has been ordered to pay back more than £3.5m.
Zakir Ahmed, 51, was convicted with his wife, Majula Salian, 53, in 2014 at Bradford Crown Court, of converting criminal property between January 1, 2010 and April 2, 2011.
The pair were jailed over their roles in a £3.5m money laundering scam, using seven different limited companies with individual bank accounts.
Today (Wednesday) Ahmed, of Nab Wood Drive, Shipley, was ordered to pay back £3,545,921 within three months, or face another decade in jail.
Meanwhile, Salian, who was deported to India after serving her three-year sentence for her role in the scam, was ordered to pay £17,440 or face another year behind bars.
Bradford Crown Court today heard how the pair were convicted in 2014, following an investigation by West Yorkshire Police’s Economic Crime Unit.
Ahmed was arrested in Estonia.
During the scam, the money was sent overseas to countries including the United Arab Emirates, India and Hong Kong.
Ramona Senior, Head of the Economic Crime Unit at West Yorkshire Police, said: “This is another excellent result for the Economic Crime Unit. Firstly to send Ahmed and Salian to jail and to then secure a significant confiscation order following a long and complex enquiry involving assets laundered across several countries.
“Ahmed doesn’t have very long at all to find a lot of money or serve another considerable sentence inside.
“And if he fails to pay up and goes to prison the debt stays with him until paid in full – there is no escaping it.
“Money Laundering is a serious criminal offence which attracts significant prison sentences and asset recovery powers. Criminals use ‘money mules’ to launder the ill-gotten gains of their crimes and will offer them money for ‘nothing’.
“If something sounds too good to be true, it usually is. Do not let others access your accounts or accept money you do not know the origin of. If you do, you could be committing an offence.”