Money-laundering case: London Met police detains MQM chief

Published: June 4, 2014
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Met police officials raided Altaf Hussain’s residence in north-west London at 5 am local 
time. PHOTO: AFP

Met police officials raided Altaf Hussain’s residence in north-west London at 5 am local time. PHOTO: AFP

LONDON / KARACHI: 

Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) chief Altaf Hussain was arrested by the Metropolitan police in London for alleged money laundering.

Until the filing of this story, Altaf, who was arrested early Tuesday morning (5:00 am GMT), would be spending the night at a local hospital in police custody, where he was getting medical tests and a check-up done.

He was shifted to the hospital after being held in a Central London Police Station for a few hours. Thus far, he has not been released on bail or indicted.

Without naming Altaf, a spokesperson for the Met Police confirmed to The Express Tribune that a “60-year-old man” arrested from North West London on early Tuesday was being treated at a hospital and was still under arrest. “We are ensuring that he meets his pre-arranged hospital appointments.”

The spokesperson said that a man can be held for 24 hours at the police station and the time that Altaf is spending at the hospital would not count.

It was in December 2012 that the Met police first conducted a raid at MQM’s office followed by another raid in June 2013 at Altaf’s residence. According to the BBC, the police recovered 400,000 pounds from his house.

The party’s senior leader Dr Farooq Sattar told The Express Tribune that his arrest was unjust.

“It is unfair that Altaf has been arrested, which is indeed unusual in the United Kingdom (UK), as he has not been charged.” He said the party leaders had been fully cooperating with Scotland Yard, and had submitted proof and affidavits of their cash donations, which were seized by the police.

Even though Altaf’s bank accounts have been frozen in the UK, with the last one closing on June 6, Sattar denied that the MQM chief’s British passport had been confiscated.

In denial

For a long time after the news of the arrest made its rounds in the media, MQM continuously denied Altaf’s arrest. The party’s deputy convener Nadeem Nusrat, speaking from London in a press briefing, had said that their party chief was at his residence – and not in police custody.

“The London police came with a search warrant and wanted to take Altaf with them when he was going to the hospital. He is currently at his house.” Nusrat said their party chief has been very ill for the past few days and was suffering from heart problems, diabetes and high blood pressure. He was not able to walk properly either.

However, three hours later, the MQM confirmed via a press statement that Altaf Hussain had, indeed, been arrested.

Dozens of emotionally charged workers turned up at MQM’s headquarters in Karachi, Nine Zero, and shouted slogans in his favour. Meanwhile, Haider Abbas Rizvi announced that the party will hold sit-ins, the first one at Numaish Chowrangi.

Later at the sit-ins, Rizvi appeared solemn and said Altaf’s followers will not leave him alone. They did not even want to think of what will happen to the party if Altaf is indicted. “Leave this question today,” said a grave Sattar.

Last December, the Met police had released two men on bail who were arrested in the money-laundering case – one of whom was party leader Tariq Mir.

What happens next?

The police have started questioning Altaf Hussain and when they conclude the initial investigation – which can last from 24 to 72 hours – he might be either released on bail or indicted.  After indictment, the money-laundering case will be transferred to the Crown Court.

Published in The Express Tribune, June 4th, 2014.

Correction: An earlier version of this article incorrectly stated that the police recovered 400,000 million pounds from Altaf Hussain’s house. The error is regretted.

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Reader Comments (41)

  • jay
    Jun 4, 2014 - 6:29AM

    400000 million pounds? How much is that in terms of The UK’s economy? Or is it that the reporter got too excited?

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  • GDP
    Jun 4, 2014 - 6:41AM

    400,000 million? We know a lot of people are happy but that’s just careless.

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  • logic
    Jun 4, 2014 - 6:51AM

    Why MQM leaders are so worried if their leader is innocent ?

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  • Ch. Allah Daad
    Jun 4, 2014 - 7:15AM

    MQM can protest but it should refrain from any violence. The lives and properties of innocent people are more important than any leader.

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  • Muhammad Rizwan Ali
    Jun 4, 2014 - 7:28AM

    All cases against AH are fabricated, now UK Govt dont want AH to stay any more in UK…
    Every Pakistani leader have millions in Pound in UK, they taken Public money from Pakistan,
    UK Govt also look in that matter….

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  • Jameel
    Jun 4, 2014 - 7:32AM

    Don’t know why British police is so much after Altaf for few hundred thousand pounds?? Hundreds of Pakistani politicians and beaureacrats have laundered much bigger amounts of money to UK. Pakistani politicians have mansions in UK worth millions of pounds. Cant understand this targeted operation against Altaf only.

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  • UseYourBrain
    Jun 4, 2014 - 7:34AM

    MQM workers destroyed the Peace of Karachi after their leader got arrested. This clearly shows how immature this political group is and how brainless his workers are.

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  • Jun 4, 2014 - 7:35AM

    What if he is arrested? He is innocent. LOL

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  • The Paki!
    Jun 4, 2014 - 7:39AM

    I remember some time ago I commented “ten, nine, eight, seven, tick, tick, tick …!”.

    Finally the clock stopped ticking yesterday.

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  • ObserverUSA
    Jun 4, 2014 - 7:55AM

    there is many a slip between the cup and the lips!

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  • A Khan
    Jun 4, 2014 - 8:31AM

    Why on earth would the MQM protest in Karachi when Altaf is being arrested in London, where Pakistan or even the British gov has nothing to do with anything in his arrest? MQM ‘may’ protest in UK only instead of Karachi. They are damaging the economy of Pakistan via a complete shut-down of the city. God knows when the sanity will prevail in these politicians! We are being held hostage by the gun mafia! Shatters me to see the loss of billions of Rs in a one-day shut-down!

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  • SHN
    Jun 4, 2014 - 8:42AM

    400,000 million pounds? Such pathetic amateur journalism, do you have any idea how much 400,000 million pounds is? Do your research before posting such unprofessional articles.

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  • Baset
    Jun 4, 2014 - 9:00AM

    Fantastic news please keep him in jail forever !

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  • Muhajir
    Jun 4, 2014 - 9:15AM

    @Baset:
    i am a muhajir and i love your comment.

    Recommend

  • numbersnumbers
    Jun 4, 2014 - 9:24AM

    @Jameel:
    So you say “hundreds of Pakistani politicians and bureaucrats have laundered bigger amounts of money to UK”!! And of course you can give us the names of at least 10 of those individuals and the amount of money they laundered in the UK, otherwise we may have to believe you are just making all this up!

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  • Shahjahan Abbasi
    Jun 4, 2014 - 9:49AM

    According to new York times newspaper. Over the last 18 month, metropolitan police has raided equivalent to 600,000 US dollars. 400,000 million pounds what nonsense.

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  • Timorlane
    Jun 4, 2014 - 10:10AM

    Why No Dharna in London ?

    When there’s this London Rabita Committee and hundreds of “loving” “enthusiastic” “devoted” workers there ?

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  • Karachiwala
    Jun 4, 2014 - 10:11AM

    Its from the above comments from most of the people the biased for the MQM as England is up to some more serious, i mean one cannot expect Sctlnd yrd to arrest for that meager amount of money. I wish AH could come back to Pakistan and the entire face of the politics will change.

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  • Timorlane
    Jun 4, 2014 - 10:11AM

    @Muhammad Rizwan Ali: Oh but we were always told by MQM that Mr. Altaf Hussain is nothing like any other leader !!??

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  • NoNy
    Jun 4, 2014 - 10:11AM

    400,000 million ? ET do you even have idea how much would that be ? more than the cash we saw in Breaking Bad. Don’t know why everyone loves using million and billion without having the sense of what it means. Please correct it.

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  • Zulfiqar
    Jun 4, 2014 - 10:13AM

    400,000 million pound? Its a typo or what?

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  • Well Wisher
    Jun 4, 2014 - 10:13AM

    Biggest problem of our people:

    “My party leader’s sin smaller than your party leader’s sin, hence it is justified”

    For God’s sake people, wake up. Sin is a sin, big or small. Stop playing passing the pillow. All involved in crimes must be indicted. This is the start. Support this. Bring everyone to justice.

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  • Timorlane
    Jun 4, 2014 - 10:13AM

    @Jameel: So has Every Pakistani leader also threatened Live on TV to his political opponents with tearing apart with swords? Has every Pakistani leader acquired British citizenship ?

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  • SIR
    Jun 4, 2014 - 10:16AM

    @SHN:
    110% agreed with SHN but does’nt meant that the game is fake.

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  • Kamran
    Jun 4, 2014 - 10:21AM

    Everything is cooked up by the Punjabis living in UK. There are a few Punjabis ‘Lord’ and ‘Baroness’ in UK (offcourse we know how they got these titles) who have pushed Scotland yard to take action against Altaf. Its all political show against Altaf and nothing else.

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  • Well Wisher
    Jun 4, 2014 - 10:45AM

    @Kamran: If he is proven guilty then I guess all the show down was worth the effort.

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  • Karachiwala
    Jun 4, 2014 - 10:53AM

    Its obvious from the above comments from most of the people the biased for the MQM as England is up to some more serious thing, i mean one cannot expect Sctlnd yrd to arrest AH for that meager amount of money. I wish AH could come back to Pakistan and the entire face of the politics will change.

    Recommend

  • Aalu Laylo
    Jun 4, 2014 - 11:05AM

    @Kamran:
    You can go back to sleep as you are sleeping since the begining of your life. Thank you.

    Recommend

  • Cobra Commander
    Jun 4, 2014 - 11:07AM

    @Kamran: That sounds true. Punjabi’s have become so strong that they can get any honorific title they like and also exert pressure on a sovereign western government to arrest Altaf Bhai. Not only that they will soon depose of the English Monarchy and take over England.

    Recommend

  • Karachiite
    Jun 4, 2014 - 11:21AM

    Please keep him in jail forever and disband his organized gang in my city. Scotland Yard, please let the law take its course. Help us!!!

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  • Aschraful Makhlooq
    Jun 4, 2014 - 11:53AM

    At last Altaf Hussain has reached his climax and he must be given at least 50 years of imprisonment in UK and his bail application should never be accepted by British courts……

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  • Aik Insan
    Jun 4, 2014 - 2:03PM

    @Muhammad Rizwan Ali: Altaf was keeping his money in the house and since there is a suspicion of money laundering, he has been arrested. How is it related to the money other politicians have in “foreign banks”? Stop following this man blindly and open your eyes to the violence he has caused.

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  • Aik Insan
    Jun 4, 2014 - 2:04PM

    @Jameel: You can’t understand it because your head is in Altaf Hussain’s derrière.

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  • Aik Insan
    Jun 4, 2014 - 2:06PM

    @Well Wisher: Absolutely correct.

    Recommend

  • Aik Insan
    Jun 4, 2014 - 2:10PM

    @Kamran: The ones you are probably referring to are Lord Nazir and Baroness Warsi. They are tiny tiny politicians in the UK and have no influence over institutions like Scotland Yard etc to compel them to do such a thing. And mind you you are talking about British police not Pakistani police. Please come out the old make belief games of your childhood and smell the coffee.

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  • Altaf Hussain
    Jun 4, 2014 - 4:48PM

    Al Capone was never caught for murder, extortion, bootlegging etc. but for tax evasion, maybe same faith for Altaf Hussain.

    Recommend

  • SHB
    Jun 4, 2014 - 8:51PM

    @Muhammad Rizwan Ali:
    Please give the evidence that case is fabricated and do not give statement.Thanks

    Recommend

  • SHB
    Jun 4, 2014 - 8:53PM

    @Jameel:
    If you are so concerned ,can you give that much money to Karachi, Pakistan as donation?

    Recommend

  • Rehan
    Jun 5, 2014 - 6:24AM

    Wao what a loyal lover you are,
    Why do Altaf should stay in UK at first place if he is true leader of pakistan , should’nt he stay with his people??@Muhammad Rizwan Ali:

    Recommend

  • Rehan
    Jun 5, 2014 - 6:32AM

    U mean scotlandyard police is so ignorant that some “Punjabis” persuaded them and they convinced to artest an innocent 60 years man. @Kamran:

    Recommend

  • Saif
    Jun 5, 2014 - 9:03AM

    @The Paki!: And what a “lift off” by SLY.

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