Shahed Ali, previously a Tower Hamlets First councillor, has been ordered to pay a £180k Proceeds of Crime Award (POCA). Mr Ali was sentenced to five months in jail in 2016 after pleading guilty to housing fraud.
Reduced from £1.6 million
Confirming to LW that he has been served with a POCA notice Shahed said that the council originally demanded around £1.6 million but reduced this to a more realistic figure made up of £110k benefits and £70k prosecution costs.
Condemned by left and right
Here is the statement to LW by Shahed.
“Reluctantly I had to make the decision to agree [to the final POCA amount] because I could not risk spending a further £35-40K on legal fees. Furthermore it would be impossible for me to recall every £ that has gone through my account over a six year period dating back to 2011. I cannot also expect a long list of witnesses to appear in court, which also costs time and money, to verify silly little figures such as repayment of an Easyjet flight and hotel I booked on behalf of councillors for the trip to Greece which I recall you previously wrote about.
A simple comment would not do justice to the unjust manner I strongly believe the council has dealt with me throughout this case of what was a simple failure to notify change of circumstances.
I have never stole or benefitted from a single penny by means of any criminal activity.
I have given years of my life as an appropriate adult, worked through the clock voluntarily in the councils emergency contingency team at various incidents. I have been born and brought up in the borough, and worked my entire life deeply rooted within my community, both within the voluntary and statutory sectors.
A focused and effective serving councillor for 12 years where I didn’t simply turn-up at meetings without vigorously doing my homework in order to hold officers to account. I firmly believe my work has benefitted the council in achieving much more from developers due to my sheer determination and reluctance to accept.
I was good at holding Biggs and his Labour puppets to account not just in council meetings, but more so in public meetings and TV debates, challenging their shrewd morally unjust ways of syphoning money to Rich Mix.
However my publicly outspoken actions have not made me friends in such powerful quarters, and I am certainly not on their Christmas card list.
Then to get bludgeoned so harshly for a minor oversight is extremely demoralising and heartbreaking for me personally.
If I ever win the lottery, I shall definitely get Danny Boyle to make a movie of this entire saga which would do justice to unraveling the dirty nature of politics in Tower Hamlets, and also question our current legal system in syphoning lifestyle criminals vs victims of the criminal justice system.”
Danny Boyle? East End politics? Perfect.