Duo jailed after laundering £1.25m and stored an ‘Aladdin’s cave’ of stolen and fake goods

Naveed Zaman, left and Aamer Ali
Naveed Zaman, left and Aamer Ali

Two men from Halifax have been jailed after they laundered £1.25m through various PayPal accounts and stored an ‘Aladdin’s cave’ of stolen and counterfeit goods.

Naveed Zaman was arrested in March 2012, where he was found in possession of just over £10,000 in cash. A search of his home address resulted in a further £65,000 cash being seized.

These events triggered a four year investigation by Calderdale Police Proceeds of Crime Team that uncovered a sophisticated and organised enterprise where stolen electronic items, typically televisions and computer monitors, along with counterfeit games consoles and game controllers, were sold over the internet through eBay.

Bradford Crown Court heard how Zaman and Aamer Ali recruited others and used their eBay, PayPal and bank accounts to trade items on a grand scale, predominantly stolen from curtain side thefts from lorries all over England.

Ali was arrested in February, 2015 from West Riding House, Cheapside, Bradford, at office premises he had rented.

An ‘Aladdin’s cave’ of stolen and counterfeit items was recovered from Ali’s office space. Computer monitors, identified as stolen from Coventry were also recovered from Ali’s vehicle at the scene.

Five hundred Sony PlayStation Dual Shock controllers and over 300 Nintendo DS games consoles, all counterfeit, were also recovered from Ali’s office space.

Naveed Zaman, aged 30, of Richmond Road, Halifax, was sentenced to nine years after he was found guilty of one count of conspiracy to handle stolen goods, five counts of entering or becoming concerned in a money laundering arrangement and two counts of possessing criminal property.

Aamer Ali, aged 32, of Rhodes Street, Halifax, was sentenced to nine years after he was found guilty of one count of conspiracy to handle stolen goods, one count of entering or becoming concerned in a money laundering arrangement and two counts of unauthorised use of a trade mark.

Bradford Crown Court heard that Ali and Zaman had previous convictions in April 2010 relating to the sale of stolen televisions and counterfeit goods.

DC Tony Chapman, of Calderdale Proceeds of Crime Team said: “Zaman and Ali were the masterminds behind this professional and sophisticated scheme, recruiting others who could be trusted in order to keep their own identity anonymous.’

“This lengthy and complex investigation has attacked the criminality marshalled by Zaman and Ali and the respective sentences reflect the seriousness of their offending.

“Calderdale Proceeds of Crime Team will be actively pursuing these offenders in confiscation proceedings to ensure that each are deprived of the proceeds of their criminal conduct.

“These convictions and sentences send a clear message to the communities of Calderdale and beyond that we will investigate offences of money laundering robustly and bring offenders to justice.”

Neil Boyd, Senior Counsel at Nintendo of Europe said, “It is important that when consumers purchase Nintendo products that they are purchasing authentic items that have been quality checked at the highest levels so that consumers can enjoy the very best gaming experience. Counterfeit products mislead the general public as well as cause significant reputational and economic damage. These activities are not a victimless crime. We hope that these strong penalties will act as a deterrent to others who are dealing in counterfeit Nintendo products or who are considering in doing so in the future”. Nintendo commends West Yorkshire police fir their thorough investigation and prosecution of this case”.

Amir Amin, aged 39 years, of Mile Cross Terrace, Halifax, was found guilty after he also pleaded not guilty to one count of entering or becoming concerned in a money laundering arrangement.

Mark Turner, aged 52, of Mount Pleasant Avenue, Halifax, pleaded guilty part way through the trial to one count of entering or becoming concerned in a money laundering arrangement.

Mohammed Farooq, aged 64, of Westfield Place, Halifax, pleaded guilty part way through the trial to one count of entering or becoming concerned in a money laundering arrangement.

Mohammed Zaheer, aged 36, of Conway Street, Halifax, also pleaded guilty part way through the trial to one count of entering or becoming concerned in a money laundering arrangement.

Amin, Turner, Faqooq and Zaheer are expected to be sentenced on September 9.

Zaheer Iqbal Ahmed, aged 26, of Gibbet Street, Halifax, was acquitted after he pleaded not guilty to one count of Entering or Becoming Concerned in a Money Laundering Arrangement.

Mohammed Wali Khan, aged 33, of Rose Terrace, Halifax, was also acquitted after he pleaded not guilty to one count of Entering or Becoming Concerned in a Money Laundering Arrangement.