UK fraud office seizes jewels, Rolex watches linked to British-Pakistani fugitive

In this pictures taken on April 22, 2019, a Pakistani jeweller arranges jewellery in a window at his shop in Rawalpindi. (AFP)
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Updated 24 September 2020

UK fraud office seizes jewels, Rolex watches linked to British-Pakistani fugitive

  • A warrant remains out for Nisar Afzal’s arrest after he fled Britain for Pakistan in the mid-2000s
  • He was implicated in a fraud against mortgage lenders, for which his brother was convicted and jailed in 2011 for 13 years

LONDON: A most wanted fugitive whose brother was convicted of a role in a 50 million pound ($64 million) British mortgage scam has had opulent necklaces, gold, silver and diamond-encrusted Rolex watches seized from a safe deposit box.
The UK Serious Fraud Office (SFO) said on Wednesday it had confiscated 500,000 pounds ($638,500) worth of jewellery, including a gold ring emblazoned with the name “Nisar”, from the safe deposit box of the former partner of British Pakistani fraudster Nisar Afzal.
The SFO said it used a listed asset order, a new tool in its armoury, to seize and forfeit listed assets linked to Afzal, which it believes to be the proceeds of crime.
His former partner had consented to the order, the SFO said.
“This case reinforces our determination to use every tool available to us to prevent those who would bribe, cheat and steal from resting easily on their illicit gains,” said Liz Baler, head of the SFO’s proceeds of crime and international assistance division.
The latest move on Afzal’s assets comes after the SFO last year seized 1.52 million pounds from the sale of two properties in Birmingham, central England, bought by Afzal.
A warrant remains out for his arrest after he fled Britain for Pakistan in the mid-2000s. The SFO alleges he was implicated in a fraud against mortgage lenders, for which his brother, Saghir Afzal, was convicted and jailed in 2011 for 13 years.
Saghir Afzal was sentenced to an additional 10 years for failing to pay a near 30-million-pound confiscation order within six months.
 


With 2,954 new COVID-19 cases, Pakistan records highest single-day spike since July 8

Updated 24 November 2020

With 2,954 new COVID-19 cases, Pakistan records highest single-day spike since July 8

  • After a peak of over 6,800 daily infections in June, the number fell to a low of 213 in August
  • Coronavirus cases remained below 700 for most of the last three months but have once again picked up

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan on Tuesday reported its highest single-day spike in COVID-19 cases since July 8, with 2,954 new cases and 48 deaths reported in the last 24 hours, according to a government portal. 
Pakistan’s total coronavirus cases have reached 379,883 and there have been 7,744 deaths.
After a peak of over 6,800 daily infections in June, the number fell to a low of 213 in August, and remained below 700 for most of the last three months.
Pakistan ordered all schools and colleges shut from Thursday this week, as officials said on Monday the country had recorded its highest COVID-19 positivity ratio to date, at 7.46 percent, with 19 percent of the cases being reported from the education sector. Officials said hospitalizations due to the coronavirus had also doubled in the last two weeks.
Last week, Pakistan banned public political rallies after recording its highest daily coronavirus infections since July for four days running.
Several huge religious and anti-government public rallies have been held in major cities in recent weeks.
Prime Minister Imran Khan announced the ban, fearing hospitals would be overwhelmed as they were in June if people do not act responsibly.
“We have decided to ban public gatherings in the country, including ours planned over the weekend, as large crowds help in the spread of the virus,” Khan said on national television.