A Riddlesden man has been ordered to repay over two hundred thousand pounds of his ill-gotten gains.
Wasim Karim, of Westfield Crescent, Riddlesden, was ordered to repay a total of £211,651.18 within six months or go to prison for another two years and eight months at a Proceeds of Crime confiscation hearing at Bradford Crown Court.
Karim was previously sentenced to 15 months imprisonment for money laundering and perverting the course of justice, following a lengthy investigation by the Bradford POCA Investigation Team, which was commended by the judge for its thoroughness.
In February 2008, Karim bought his Westfield Crescent property for £220,000 cash, allegedly using ‘contributions’ from friends and family. This purchase was investigated and it was found that the money reportedly given to Karim had in fact originated from Karim himself.
The purchases of a further four houses was also investigated. It was found that these had been bought using money originating from Karim and had been washed through numerous accounts belonging to his family and friends.
Detective Sergeant Karen Milner, of the Bradford POCA Investigation Team, said: “We welcome the significant sum that Karim has been ordered to pay which we hope demonstrates to others that crime does not pay and that we will continue to pursue those who benefit from criminal means, even after the judge has passed sentence.
“If the public are suspicious about the wealth and lifestyle of anyone they know they should report their concerns in confidence either via 101, in person at their local police station or anonymously to Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111. We will investigate those concerns and if we suspect criminality then we will take robust action.”
The Police and Crime Commissioner for West Yorkshire, Mark Burns-Williamson, said: “This case is for a significant amount of money and demonstrates yet again how important it is we get more of the money seized from criminals in West Yorkshire kept here and invested back into tackling crime.
“These ill-gotten gains of criminals will be invested back into our communities to keep them safer and feeling safer.
“I thank West Yorkshire Police and prosecutors for all their hard work in using the powers available to them to ensure this money comes back into those communities affected by crime.
“I will continue to lobby government and try to get more of the money seized from criminals back here where it belongs in communities affected by crime and would urge people to sign my Proceeds of Crime Act petition at