LONDON – Citing ‘insufficient evidence’, the Scotland Yard on Thursday withdrew the money laundering case against Muttahaida Qaumi Movement (MQM) supremo and other party leaders.
The case against Altaf Hussain, Mohammad Anwar and Sarfraz Merchant was withdrawn on the grounds that after examining all the evidence it was accepted that there is ‘insufficient evidence to prove that the money seized was the proceeds of crime or was intended for use in unlawful conduct’.
A press release from the Metropolitan Police Service said that following a detailed evidential review and upon receipt of legal advice, it made the decision to withdraw their application in a civil case under the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 for the forfeiture of over £500,000 in cash.
The cash had been seized from a number of venues between 2012 and 2014.
Since 2013, officers from the Met’s National Terrorist Financial Investigation Unit have been investigating allegations of money laundering to which the civil proceedings were linked. Officers worked diligently on the investigation and thoroughly investigated all of the evidence to establish if any laws had been broken in the UK.
Several arrests were made during the course of the investigation, while dozens of people were interviewed by the British police and over 100 witness recorded their statements.
Nine premises were searched which were located in the South and North of England but all reasonable lines of enquiry were exhausted, including international enquirers.
The Metropolitan Police had submitted a case to the Crown Prosecution Service for their careful consideration. “We have now received their advice, taking into account all of the evidence identified during the course of the investigation, that there is not a realistic prospect of a successful prosecution under UK law, therefore the investigation is now complete and no further action will be taken.” Metropolitan Police said in the press release.