Brothers to pay back £1.3m after using drug money to pay off mortgages
Three brothers who funnelled drug money into family bank accounts to pay for luxury cars and pay off their mortgages have been ordered to pay back £1.3 million.
Sakander Riaz was jailed for 13 and a half years in 2016 for his part in the major importation of heroin to the UK from Pakistan.
His brothers, Asif and Saqib Riaz, were also jailed for five and four years, respectively, for passing crime profits through their bank accounts.
They were able to make significant renovations to the family home and officers from the West Midlands Regional Organised Crime Unit (ROCU) discovered photos on Saqib’s mobile phone showed an overseas villa under construction.
A judge at Birmingham Crown Court on Monday ordered the fraudsters to repay £1.3 million or face more jail time.
West Midlands Police said £80,000 in cash had been found during a search at the family home.
The brothers must repay £400,000 in the next three months or Sakander, Asif and Saqib, of Belchers Lane in Bordesley Green, Birmingham, will spend an extra 36, 18 and four months, respectively, in prison.
The force added that the rest of the debt will hang over them for life and police can seize any cash or assets they accrue in the future.
ROCU Detective Chief Inspector Ronan Tyrer said: “Around £500,000 was paid into the family bank accounts despite them having not declared income.
“They were making high-end purchases, extending their home and making major improvements – and all funded through drug money and others’ suffering.
“It’s important that police go after offenders even after they have been convicted in order to recoup any ill-gotten gains and illustrate our determination that crime doesn’t pay.
Mr Tyrer added: “The money recovered through POCA (the Proceeds of Crime Act) is used to pay for crime prevention and crime-fighting schemes, plus local community projects.”