Loans conman back in court

PROSECUTORS are being given more time to value the assets of a crooked Doncaster businessman who is serving a prison sentence for a multi-million mortgage scam.

They believe Munir Akhtar still owns property which will be worth 1.7 million and could be sold and confiscated under the Proceeds of Crime Act.

Investigators also want access to his mansion on Bawtry Road, Bessacarr, to assess its true worth.

The house, which stands in its own grounds with a large drive and several garages, was said to be worth 1.3 million but Akhtar's defence team claim its value has dropped to 725,000.

Akhtar, aged 43, was jailed for two years last June for using forged documents and lying about his wife's income to obtain mortgages worth 2.3 million from 2004-06.

He was found guilty, after a trial, of seven offences of obtaining money transfers by deception in relation to false mortgage applications.

The police investigation began after 330,000 in used notes were found at the Taj Mahal restaurant in Hallgate and no-one claimed it.

At yesterday's hearing at Sheffield Crown Court, the judge granted both sides more time to complete their enquiries into Akhtar's assets.

Defence counsel Anthony Barraclough said the defendant's previous home in Cantley Lane had already been repossessed by the bank and sold for less than half its value.

David Brooke, for the Crown, said it was a "complicated picture" and police were suspicious about where he was holding property.

It is believed Akhtar has 22 houses, two pubs and may have other properties in Dubai and Pakistan.

Mr Barraclough said a forensic accountant might have to fly out to Dubai to make further enquiries and establish if his client did have assets there.

Judge Robert Moore agreed to the request for an adjournment of the two-day proceeds hearing until June 1.

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