Kangs Solicitors represented one of 11 defendants in ‘Operation Doberman’ at Manchester Crown Court.
The defendants were charged with conspiracy to convert criminal property (money laundering) over a period of 11 years.
All but one of the defendants were related. Over the years the family had acquired an impressive multi-million pound property portfolio. The majority of the properties were purchased using large cash deposits.
The prosecution alleged that the funds invested in to the properties were from the proceeds of crime. It was suggested that the family had links to drug trafficking and were also involved in tax evasion.
It was further alleged that as part of the money laundering process and to camouflage and preserve assets, titles to properties were regularly transferred between family members.
Significantly, some transfers had taken place at times when criminal proceedings had been anticipated, usually following the arrest or prosecution of a family member.
The prosecution suggested this had been done to frustrate any confiscation proceedings that would follow, in the event of a conviction of a family member.
Following a 4-week trial the prosecution were forced to offer no evidence. All defendants were acquitted. This decision came as a result of persistent defence requests for disclosure.
The case was factually complex due to the historic nature of the allegations and involved the examination of large amounts of banking evidence and financial material, tax records and land registry documents.
The case was conducted by Mr Zahir Ahmed at Kangs Solicitors. Mr Stan Reiz of Carmelite Chambers was instructed as trial counsel.