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June 21, 2013

Anti-terror police search Altaf Hussain’s UK house

 
June 21, 2013

LONDON: The Metropolitan Police’s Anti-Terrorism Command Unit concluded searches at two North West London addresses on Thursday afternoon, including a house which is owned by the MQM chief Altaf Hussain.
The police confirmed that it had concluded the searches after executing the “search warrants” at two houses on Tuesday morning. The searches were conducted on both houses for nearly 55 hours and it can be confirmed that more than two dozen members of the police, including forensic scientists and members of the Serious and Organised Crime Agency (SOCA), took part in the high-profile operation.
According to land registry records, one of the houses is owned by Altaf Hussain. The house was bought by Altaf Hussain on March 8, 2001 at the price of £1,020,000, according to the land registry papers of the house that was searched.
Geo TV broadcast images on Thursday which showed a house being combed by the police in a London area — that’s the same house which is owned by Altaf Hussain, as shown on the registry papers.
The other house where a search warrant was executed is located at a short distance from Altaf Hussain’s house in Edgware. Searches at this house were concluded early. Police vans stood outside both houses throughout the search operation and members of the forensic teams, wearing gloves and forensic gear, were seen entering and leaving the property with material in bags and containers.
The involvement of the SOCA shows that while investigating the killing of Dr Imran Farooq, British authorities are also looking at the “money laundering” aspect and the net of the investigation involves more than what is widely known.
London-based Barrister Rashad Aslam told The News that police have to make an application for a warrant to the Justice of Peace in order to search a premises.He explained: “If police are satisfied that there are reasonable grounds for believing that an indictable offence has been committed and that there is

material on premises which is likely to be of substantial value (whether by itself or together with other material) to the investigation of the offence; and that the material is likely to be relevant evidence, the Justice of Peace can issue a warrant authorising police to enter and search the premise in relation to each set of premises specified in the application.”
He said normally for each property a separate warrant is issued but it can be listed as one if the same person owns the properties. The owner of the house is informed about the raid on the spot, not in advance, and usually the officer in charge of the search shall communicate with the occupier, or any other person entitled to grant access to the premises, about the authority under which entry is sought and asks the occupier to allow entry.
But the police can enter the property without permission, as long as they have the warrant from the Justice of Peace, if there are reasonable grounds for believing that alerting the occupier or any other person entitled to grant access would frustrate the object of the search or endanger officers or other people.
Dr Imran Farooq was stabbed to death outside his home in Edgware, north London, in September 2010, when he was returning from work. His killing shocked Pakistan and Britain as the killing was executed in a highly professional style and has left the Metropolitan Police, one of the most professional investigating police forces in the world, with a lot of painstaking investigation.
Finding the killers is a challenge for the Met Police and they have repeated that they will not rest until the killers of the self-exiled Pakistani politician are found. Dr Farooq was a close colleague of Altaf Hussain and was amongst the party founders. The MQM has always maintained that the party wants Dr Farooq’s killers to be brought to justice.
The party has said that it will continue to cooperate with the police investigation. A £20,000 reward is available for information leading to the prosecution of Dr Farooq’s killers.

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