A HEROIN supplier’s dad stashed away £56,000 cash and £30,000 worth of jewellery, allegedly profits from drug dealing, in the front bedroom of the family home, a jury was told.
Burnley Crown Court heard how father of five Mohammed Arshad claimed he had been saving up for 25 years and told police he had not put the money in the bank because he was a religious man and didn’t like getting interest. Officers found he had 12 bank accounts at the time of his arrest.
The court heard claims Arshad “cleaned” cash by putting it in the bank and taking out different notes, so that the money wouldn’t be tainted by heroin.
Arshad (49), of Victoria Street, Nelson, denies concealing, disguising or converting criminal property between June, 2006 and July last year.
Mr David Macro (prosecuting) said the defendant’s son Mohammed Adnan, was sentenced for 23 counts of supplying heroin after police observations on the bank of the Leeds-Liverpool canal at Nelson.
Adnan was arrested on July 13th last year when police went to his Victoria Street home, where he lived with his parents and four siblings. Officers searched the property and found £52,600 in notes in a briefcase, as well as a lot of gold jewellery, in the main bedroom. A further £3,790 was in a documents box in the bedroom, making a total of £56,390.
Mr Macro said Arshad was arrested, interviewed and told police all the money and jewellery belonged to him and his wife. He denied they represented the profits of Adnan’s drug dealing and said the money had been saved over about 25 years and the jewellery, which belonged to his wife and two daughters, were gifts and had been in their possession 20 years.
The prosecutor said Arshad told police his eldest son had special needs and got disability living allowance, incapacity benefits and mobility allowance. His wife claimed a carer’s allowance for him. The defendant said he had been made redundant from Smith and Nephew in 2008, then worked as a taxi driver. About £2,000 a month had been coming into the household for the last 10 years and he had been able to save £500 to £700 a month.
The jury was told Arshad went on to tell officers he had also had £10,000 redundancy money, some of which he gave to his family, an insurance policy pay out in 1999 and compensation for accidents in 1999, 2006 and 2010.
Mr Macro said the defendant took out two high interest personal loans in October, 2007 and January, 2008 for cars, when he claimed to have substantial savings at the time. He did not buy a vehicle and paid the money back.
The prosecutor said police asked the defendant why he kept such a lot of money in an insecure environment at home and why he didn’t simply put it in the bank. Arshad told them he did not like getting interest for religious reasons.
Mr Macro continued: “At the time he was arrested, he had 12 bank accounts.” The defendant told officers he would pay interest to charity, so that got round the religious problems of receiving it.
The prosecutor alleged Arshad ‘s explanations were not true. He claimed to the jury: “He has been keeping this money and the jewellery away from the eyes of the authorities because it’s not come from legitimate savings at all. It’s come recently from the drug dealing profits made by his son.”
Mr Macro added after the defendant lost his job he claimed jobseekers’ allowance and council tax benefits, which were means tested. He told the Jobcentre Plus he didn’t have capital of more than £16,000. He then told the police when he was being investigated he had had substantial savings for years. That was referred to the Department for Work and Pensions and he was prosecuted for two counts of making false benefits claims.