Amirah Ajaz

profile-amirah-ajaz-bw

Amirah started her career by working in a niche law firm in Mayfair and joined ABV Solicitors in 2012.

Amirah is a specialist in dealing with complex white/grey-collar fraud, serious organised crime and complex confiscation cases. She is regularly instructed on investigations conducted by law enforcement agencies including, SFO, FCA, NCA, HMRC, CPS, DBIS, Trading Standards and Local Authority.

Amirah’s experience includes working on highly publicised cases with complex issues such as cross border, novel frauds, high value and technical legal points. Her strengths include the ability to digest voluminous evidence, forensically examine figures and advance a pro-active defence on behalf of her clients.

Amirah has worked with some of the top silks (Queens Counsel) and counsel in this country and is recognised and respected for her work both in the profession and by clients. Amirah regularly travels internationally to advise and assist her clients.

She has considerable experience in the preparation of Very High Cost Complex Cases.

Amirah is fluent in speaking Urdu, Hindi and Punjabi.

Associated Cases

Mortgage Fraud and Money Laundering

Operation Kadenza – Southwark Crown Court 2017
A proactive investigation involving a loss of £113 million, targeting an Organised Criminal Network concerned in a ‘Vishing’ and “Phishing” campaign against RBS and Lloyds Banking Group business customers. The Defendant was said to have a pivotal role as a bank employee of Barclays where a large number of accounts were opened that were used to launder millions of pounds.

Operation Yalong – Southwark Crown Court 2017
This multi-million-pound and highly publicised mortgage fraud concerned the impersonation of the owner of a property to obtain a bridging loan. The proceeds were transferred to Dubai and removed. The fraud was described as a sophisticated and well-planned fraud by a large network of known and unknown members of a criminal gang who were wanted for several years by the Metropolitan Police and who were widely publicised on Crime Watch.

R v P – Southampton Crown Court 2017
Unusual fraud where the Defendants incorporated a business which was allegedly diverting monies away from their employers. Complex arrangement of transactions undertaken by the defendants with many layers to conceal the chain.

Operation Aquamarine – Southwark Crown Court 2016
This case was investigated by The City of London Police and concerned a high value mortgage fraud to the tune of approximately £40 million. The defendants were alleged to have fraudulently obtained mortgages from Barclays Private Clients International Limited in the Isle of Man and Abbey Commercial Mortgages. 18 defendants were charged including solicitors, chartered surveyors, mortgage brokers and individuals from Barclays. Due to the sheer number of defendants the case was split into multiple trials.

Operation Systom – Luton Crown Court 2016
This was a multi-handed Conspiracy to Defraud and Money Laundering case which related to the acquisition of valuable land concerning a number of fraudulent mortgage applications which subsequently resulted in a substantial loss. The OCG was described as sophisticated and well planned.

Operation Doberman – Manchester Crown Court 2015
Following the convictions of a number of family members for the importation of heroin and conspiracy to handle stolen goods namely stolen and or fraudulent passports and visa, this investigation was conducted into the finances of 11 Defendants. The individuals faced allegations of Conspiracy to Launder Money over an almost 10 year period and were said to have dissipated their assets at the point of a family members arrest or confiscation proceedings. The value of the fraud was in the region of £1 million. The case is linked to Operation Cadmus, Operation Shoreham and Operation Muscadet.
VAT Fraud: MTIC / Carousel / Cheating the Public Revenue

Operation Unphazed – Nottingham Crown Court 2016
This case centred around allegations of a Missing Trader VAT Fraud to the value of £10 million which resulted in alleged breaches of the Money Laundering Regulations 2007 and offences under the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002. Over 50 companies based in the UK and Europe were said to be involved in complex chains of transactions where the Defendant was acting as an Escrow Agent. Funds derived from an MTIC fraud were alleged to have passed through the Defendant’s bank accounts. Confiscation proceedings followed where the benefit figure was successfully reduced from £10 million to circa £29,000.

Operation Trickshot – Guildford Crown Court 2015
The case concerned a multi-million-pound Cheating of the Public Revenue and Money Laundering. The nature of the fraud was to take advantage of the VAT system and the zero rating of invoices which permitted for any VAT spent on expenses incurred to be claimed by producing false documentation. Defendant was also subject to a complex Restraint Order and confiscation proceedings concerning multiple third parties.

Operation Savate – Birmingham Crown Court 2014
Described as one of the largest frauds to be carried out using the Construction Industry Scheme (CIS) and the tax paid by sub-contractors. The total loss to the Revenue was over £8 million. Allegations included Cheating the Revenue of VAT, Income tax, Corporation Tax and National Insurance Contributions and Money Laundering. Due to the complexity, sheer volume of evidence together with the covert audio and video surveillance evidence served, the case was split into three trials and classified as a VHCC (Very High Costs Cases). Illegal activity involved more than a 100 businesses across the country whose identity was either hijacked or were part of the fraud. Sub-contractors employed were “off-record” and carrying out roadworks on major sites across the UK including motorways.

Investment Fraud: Land banking / Rare Earths

Operation Stagecoach – Blackfriars Crown Court 2017
The defendants face charges of Conspiracy to Defraud where investors have allegedly been persuaded to buy rare earth elements. Transactions were carried out through an Escrow Agent and by over 40 brokers based in the UK. The value of the fraud was circa £7 million. Due to the sheer size of the prosecution disclosure the case was classified as a VHCC case.
Banking Fraud / Credit Card Fraud

R v S – Southwark Crown Court 2016
Pursuant to investigations carried out by The City of London Police, defendants were charged with a national fraud against credit / debit card companies with a loss of circa £1 million. The Crown alleged that there had been an abuse of provisions afforded to individuals such as credit protection, chargebacks and refunds. Defendants were said to have made many fraudulent transactions through complex arrangements and defrauded banks and merchant companies providing chip and pin facilities.

Bribery & Corruption

Investigation stage 2017
SFO investigation related to alleged criminal conduct by British American Tobacco (BAT UK). The investigation relates to bribery and corruption and is on-going.

Investigation stage 2017
SFO investigation related to alleged criminal conduct by Unaoil and associated companies. The investigation is on-going.

Telecommunications Fraud

R v C – National Mobile Phone Crime Unit Investigation
Over 20 people arrested for an investigation concerning allegations of Conspiracy to Defraud the network service providers Vodafone, o2, EE and 3. Those at the top of the chain are said to have recruited students from universities in the UK to apply for contracts in return for a fixed sum payments. Contracts were later cancelled by the company with the mobile phones being later sold and the customer being faced the burden of the airtime contract and mobile phone.

NHS Fraud

R v N – Guildford Crown Court – 2016
The defendant was employed on an agency basis for the Bromley Primary Care Trust for a number of years as a commissioner who defrauded hundreds of thousands of pounds by dishonestly invoicing for the care of patients receiving services under the Mental Health Act.

Tier 1 Fraud / Facilitation of Illegal Immigration & Human Trafficking

Operation Belman – Manchester Crown Court (Crown Square) 2017
This case is linked to Operation Façade. Charges were brought after a BBC Panorama programme in respect of systematic cheating on English Language Testing (TOEIC) at colleges where these tests were being sat by ‘pilots’ and the colleges were allegedly facilitating such cheating. As a result of these test results, applicants were able to fulfil certain criteria in their visa applications. The defendant received training by ETS as an administrator for TOEIC testing and was part of the senior management at the college. Case required a detailed understanding of the education system and role of testing centres with education institutions.

Operation Tobin – Harrow Crown Court 2014
Multi-handed Conspiracy to Defraud the Secretary of State for the Home Office. The defendants were said to have caused and permitted false financial information in support of applications for Tier 1 Immigration Visas.

Conspiracy to Steal / Cash for Crash

Operation Sorrel – Reading Crown Court 2017
Multi-handed Conspiracy to Steal of over 100 high performance vehicles stolen from across the UK and exporting the same to Africa and the Middle East. The gain to the Defendants was alleged to have been in the region of £15 million. Access was obtained to vehicles which used keyless technology to create a third key through the use of specialist diagnostic equipment. With the assistance of trackers the Defendants were able to steal vehicles, change their identities and remove them from the UK jurisdiction.

Operation Fustuscaro – Harrow Crown Court 2015
Large scale investigation involving 19 defendants charged with offences of Conspiracy to Defraud by submitting fraudulent insurance claims. The individuals were divided into two separate organised crime networks who were actively arranging the crashes of vehicles with Tesco’s delivery vans. Crashes were alleged to be either staged or induced.

Environment Agency

R v G – Birmingham Crown Court 2017
Investigation conducted by the Environment Agency where many suspects face allegations of illegally depositing high volumes of bale refused derived fuel at multiple vulnerable industrial sites across the Midlands. Further allegations faced are fraud, money laundering and large-scale criminal damage. The value of the fraud is in excess of £10 million.

Trading Standards / Rogue Traders

R v Y – Wolverhampton Crown Court 2016
Large Trading Standards prosecution concerning a well-known company based in the Midlands. Allegations include the company being involved over a systematic period of time in a commercial large-scale fraud. A vast number of consumers were said to be misled and were provided quotes for work which represented gross overcharging designed to dupe and mislead vulnerable adults.

R v T – Winchester Crown Court 2016
Investigation conducted by Trading Standards into a business selling over 100 vehicles where the odometer was falsified together with other malfunctions. Vehicles were sold all over the Hampshire region and beyond. Extreme lengths were deployed by the defendants to source the vehicles, alter their identity together with official documents and arrange their sale.

Trading Standards / Counterfeit Goods

R v G – Harrow Crown Court 2016
Investigation conducted by Trading Standards where the Defendant is said to have been selling mobile phones and other accessories in breach of Trade Mark offences and electrical safety regulations. Complex confiscation proceedings which followed where the Council sought to include past sales from many companies belonging to the Defendant in the benefit figure. The turnover of the companies amounted to millions of pounds.

Murder

Operation Chambrak – Croydon Crown Court 2015
Defendant was charged with the attempted murder of two individuals. The case was investigated by the Trident Gang Crime Command Unit. The two victims were subjected to the discharge of several gun shots at close range. The evidence was based heavily upon extensive cell site and ANPR evidence.

Terrorism & Firearms

R v H – 2017
Matter is at the investigation stage where our client is said to have been involved in activities in Kurdistan giving rise to offences under the Terrorism Act 2000. Issues within the European Convention of Human Rights were central to the investigation.

R v K – HMRC Investigation
Investigation conducted by HM Revenue & Customs into the supply of arms and ammunition from China to Sierra Leone without the necessary trade control licence. A vast amount of the proceeds of this offence were laundered. The matter is still at investigation stage and it is understood that enquiries are ongoing by HMRC both in the UK and Europe.

Violent Crimes

Operation Fairford – Manchester Crown Court 2014
High profile case of a multi-handed conspiracy to assist an offender. Investigation followed from the nationwide man hunt of Dale Cregan and others who were wanted for the double murder of David and Mark Short in the Greater Manchester area. Defendants were alleged to have assisted Dale Cregan and others after the incident and just before the double murder of police officers Fiona Bone and Nicola Hughes. Weapons used by Dale Cregan and others included military grenades.

Operation Consonant – St Albans Crown Court 2014
Multi–handed serious honour crime with allegations of Conspiracy to Kidnap, False Imprisonment and Assault. Defendants charged included family members and individuals who were instructed as “heavy weights” to take part in a series of assaults, including kidnapping the victim and taking him to a remote location. Issues in the case were particularly sensitive as they involved a boyfriend and girlfriend from a Muslim background.

Drugs Offences

Operation Pulex – Kingston Crown Court 2017
Investigation conducted by the NCA into an organised crime group based in South East England with links to Brazil, Jamaica, Portugal and South Africa. The methodology used by the Defendants included circumventing border controls to smuggle over a 100 Kg of Class A and B drugs. Extensive surveillance operation where around 200 media devices were seized.

Operation Hotflex – Southwark Crown Court 2014
Multi-handed investigation in respect of the manufacture and importation of a substantial amount of Class C controlled drugs namely Steroids and the subsequent laundering of the criminal proceeds of crime. The value of the drugs was in excess of a £1 million which were sold online. Detailed analysis of E-bay accounts, online bank accounts and cell site evidence was relied upon by the Crown.

Operation Usurp – Chelmsford Crown Court 2015
Officers from the Bedfordshire, Hertfordshire, Berkshire, Essex and London areas conducted an extensive investigation over a significant period of time into the supply of high purity Class A. Targets included those who were senior members of the Organised Crime Group with differing roles in the drugs supply chain. Over 40 mobile phones were examined in detail to demonstrate the daily movements of the Defendants together with use of ANPR and surveillance evidence.

Operation Mohican – Southampton Crown Court 2015
The case is linked to Operation Fortress and was a multi-handed Conspiracy to Supply Class A and B. Following an extensive investigation spanning over a year and half, the Defendants were said to have been supplying drugs from the West London area to Southampton. A number of dealer lines were associated to the Defendants which led to the extensive examination of over 50 mobile phones.

Professional Memberships
  • LCCSA (London Criminal Courts Solicitors Association)