Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Bangladeshi TV boss jailed

  • News Desk,
    Published: 2014-02-18 19:40:09 BdST

The founder of a television station for Britain's Bangladeshi community has been jailed for three years over a crash-for-cash insurance scam.

Mohammed Ferdhaus, 40, admitted to laundering half a million pounds from a scam operated by his brother, Mohammed Samsul Haque, says a BBC report.

Ferdhaus, from Brentwood, Essex, founded satellite station Channel S in 2004.

Between 2005 and 2008, at least 124 claims linked to Motor Alliance, a firm run by Haque, brought Ferdhaus £500,000 profit, Southwark Crown Court heard.

Ferdhaus pleaded guilty to money laundering when he appeared before the court in July, says the BBC report.

Haque and five other men were jailed in October 2011 for the scam, which was thought to cost the insurance industry £1.9m.

Of that sum, £1.17m was paid to Motor Alliance and at least £500,000 was transferred to Ferdhaus or companies controlled by him, says the BBC report.

The court heard that Ferdhaus committed money laundering offences in 2008 while awaiting trial for a conspiracy to defraud, for which he was later jailed for 18 months at Croydon Crown Court.

In sentencing for the money laundering, Judge Anthony Pitts took his previous offence into account, the report says.

"Samsul Haque was your younger brother, you owned Prestige Auto Group and there was a very close connection between Prestige and Motor Alliance," the BBC report quoted the judge as stating.

Ferdhaus "knew very well" that the money he was laundering came from the crash-for-cash fraud, it was claimed.

In mitigation, Mark Milliken-Smith QC said his client suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder after being kidnapped and beaten in May 2011.

If he was jailed "there is real risk he'll suffer in a way which is far out of proportion with the criminality in this particular case", the BBC report quoted the defence as telling the court.

The judge accepted the defendant was "very well respected" in the Bangladeshi community. But, he said, "An immediate custodial sentence of some length must be passed".