Luxury cars, property and cash worth £4.5m to be surrendered
24 Feb 2015 01:53 PM
Cash, cars and property worth £4.5 million will be handed to the NCA as part of a Civil Recovery Order made at the High Court last week.
Alexander Surin, formerly known as Michael Boparan, and his wife Jasbinder Boparan agreed the settlement with the NCA on 18 February after a five and a half year civil recovery investigation, begun by SOCA in September 2009. A Property Freezing Order obtained at the time ensured that the assets have been denied to Mr Surin since then.
The National Crime Agency argued that Mr Surin's assets were the result of money laundering, mortgage fraud, tax evasion and the importation into Europe and the UK of multiple tonnes of ketamine. While Mr Surin did not agree with the Agency's case, he and his wife chose not to contest the evidence at trial. Mr Surin, who is currently living in Dubai, has previously been arrested in relation to various criminal investigations, but this is the first time that his property has been subject to this level of asset recovery.
The items covered by the order included:
- Two houses and land in Margate, Kent
- A three bedroom flat in St John’s Wood, just off St John’s Wood Park
- Proceeds of the sale of a luxury flat in St John’s Wood
- Proceeds of the sale of two houses in Kensington (Brompton Road and Earls Court Road)
- Proceeds of sale of a Bugatti Veyron
- Proceeds of sale of Range Rover
- A Ferrari Enzo
- White Ferrari California
- Black & Silver Ferrari GT 599
- A Rolls Royce Phantom (found with more than £800,000 cash in the boot)
- Around £108,000 in cash held in various bank accounts
The three London properties already sold totalled more than £2million.
Donald Toon, NCA Director of Economic Crime, said:
“The denial to Mr Surin of his extensive assets demonstrates the determination of the National Crime Agency to take every opportunity to disrupt serious criminality.”
Civil recovery allows the NCA and the main prosecution agencies to sue for the proceeds of crime in the High Court. It is not dependent on a criminal conviction as the action is taken against the property and not against an individual. Cases are assessed on the balance of probability that assets have been acquired by criminal activity.