Spotlight on Corruption statement on NCA and Malik Riaz Hussain

26 May, 2023 | 1 minute read

Spotlight has no evidence to support or contradict the allegations (contrary to suggestions that may arise from recent Pakistani press reports) made against Mr Imran Khan in relation to the Al-Qadir Trust that Mr Khan or his wife directly benefited from the deal. This is a matter for the investigation to conclude. We apologise unreservedly to any and all the parties who may have been affected by our choice of words if any loose wording in our comment given to the press meant it was not crystal clear that we were referring solely to these public domain allegations.

Spotlight on Corruption is deeply concerned that the 2019 settlement made between the NCA and Pakistani property tycoon, Malik Riaz Hussain, as part of efforts to tackle dirty money in the UK, is now at the heart of political turmoil in Pakistan. 

We raised our concern at the time of the settlement in a letter with civil society colleagues that the way in which the funds were returned to Pakistan appeared to mean that Mr Hussain himself was the beneficiary of funds he paid as part of the settlement with the NCA, by reducing his liabilities to the Supreme Court in Pakistan. We noted at the time that if this was the case, then it would be in clear breach of Principle 9 of the Global Forum on Asset Recovery Principles for the disposition and Transfer of Confiscated Stolen Assets in Corruption Cases (Preclusion of Benefit to Offenders) – principles that the UK itself had helped to develop.

This case should prompt the UK to look beyond Russia at how the UK is used as a landing pad and laundromat for corrupt politicians and elites across the world. It is essential that the UK has a credible and robust law enforcement and political response to allegations that the UK has been host to those accused of corruption from Pakistan of whatever political persuasion.

This statement was amended on Sunday 28th May to clarify Spotlight’s position.

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