£650k Wembley house seized over Saudi Crown Prince ‘assassination payment plot backed by Colonel Gaddafi’
- Credit: Archant
A £650,000 house in Wembley owned by political dissident and critic of the regime in Saudi Arabia has been seized to settle an unpaid tax bill.
Muhammad al-Massari has until August 18 to move out of the property in Longfield Avenue, after the High Court ruled that the National Crime Agency (NCA) could sell the house to obtain unpaid tax and national insurance contributions.
According to the NCA, Al Massari received cash payments between 2003 and 2004 from Abdurahman Muhammad Almoudi, as part of an alleged conspiracy, backed by the late Libyan dictator Colonel Gaddafi, to assassinate the then Saudi Crown Prince Abdullah.
The NCA argued that the payments were the proceeds of crime and represented income upon which it could raise tax assessments, interest and penalties.
In September last year, the NCA obtained a judgment debt of £595,841.24 which was subsequently secured against the house, allowing the NCA to issue a claim for possession and sale.
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Mr Al Massari, who has been living in the UK since 1994 and in court when the order was made last month, had 21 days to appeal and now must move out.
Stephanie Jeavons, deputy director of NCA’s economic crime command, said: “Few people realise that the NCA has the power to disrupt criminality through the use of tax powers as well as through civil proceedings. These are very powerful weapons in our arsenal which do not necessarily require an existing conviction.
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“This is a great result showing once again the unique and highly effective methods we have at our disposal to trace assets and hold criminals to account.”