R v R - Operation Inertia
Opus represented R in one of the largest and most complex MTIC prosecutions ever brought by HMRC. Mohammad Asif (Solicitor) was instructed to represent R in the resulting confiscation proceedings.
Several complex issues arose during the course of these proceedings. For example, the defence was required to consider whether or not assets held within a private pension fund were considered as being available for the purposes of confiscation, even if R had not reached the age of retirement. Another complex issue was that of foreign hidden assets.
The central issue in respect of R arose from the main defendant who controlled a holding company which had purchased a bank in Pakistan. The bank owned a large piece of land amongst other assets. According to the Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan, the land was sold at a massive undervalue of approximately £10 million. As R was alleged to have been the Chairman of the bank at the time, the Crown asserted that he had benefitted from the sale and therefore had access to ‘hidden assets.’ This assertion was strongly denied by the defence over a period of 2 years and following the service of a Forensic Accountants report and a number of vital defence documents, the Crown conceded that R did not have access to the amount of sums being alleged by the Financial Investigator.
At the hearing in June 2014, the Judge made a Confiscation Order against the main defendant with a benefit figure of £100 million and an available amount of £30 million. This was to be re-paid immediately or he would serve 10 years in default for non payment. The £30 million was made up of £7 million in identifiable assets and £23 million in hidden assets. R was described by the Judge as being the main defendants “right hand man.”
Opus successfully reduced the Benefit Figure from £1.9 billion to £133 million following the service of the defence response and the use of the case of Ahmed & Ahmad. This figure was further reduced to £100 million with the assistance of the Forensic Accountant, Mr Richard Forth of Forths Forensic Accountants. The Judge granted the Confiscation Order against R with a Benefit Figure of £100 million and an Available Amount of Amount of £200,000, some £4.8 million less than the third defendant on the indictment and some £29.8 million less than the main defendant.
Read more about the case below.
Case represented by Ben Jones and Mohammad Asif, Opus Law.