LONDON: Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) founder Altaf Hussain was arrested by Scotland Yard in an early morning raid on Tuesday.
Altaf Hussain was arrested this morning and taken to a south London police station. 15 officers took part in a dawn raid at his north London home.
Altaf Hussain has been arrested in relation to the hate speech of 2016 in which he had urged his followers to take the law into their own hands.
MQM sources have confirmed that Altaf Hussain was arrested.
In a statement, Scotland Yard said an individual associated with the MQM had been arrested on suspicion of intentionally encouraging or assisting offences contrary to Section 44 of the Serious Crime Act 2007.
Intentionally encouraging or assisting an offence
(1)A person commits an offence if—
- (a) he does an act capable of encouraging or assisting the commission of an offence; and
- (b) he intends to encourage or assist its commission.
(2)But he is not to be taken to have intended to encourage or assist the commission of an offence merely because such encouragement or assistance was a foreseeable consequence of his act.
A forensic unit of Scotland Yard is searching the residence of Altaf Hussain and the MQM’s International Secretariat. MQM legal adviser Adil Ghaffar may also be questioned by police.
FIA sources have said that the arrest of Altaf Hussain has not been officially communicated. However, a team of Scotland Yard which visited Pakistan had been provided evidence pertaining to money laundering by FIA.
In 2017, Scotland Yard had sent a letter under ‘Mutual Legal Assistance’ to Pakistan in relation to two speeches made by the MQM founder on March 11, 2015 and August 22, 2016.
Both the Crown Prosecution Service and Metropolitan Police Services had confirmed that a criminal investigation had started against Altaf Hussain.
Scotland Yard statement on arrest
A man has today, Tuesday, 11 June, been arrested in connection with an investigation into a number of speeches made by an individual associated with the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) in Pakistan.
The man, who is aged in his 60s, was arrested at an address in north-west London. He was arrested on suspicion of intentionally encouraging or assisting offences contrary to Section 44 of the Serious Crime Act 2007.
He was detained under PACE and taken to a south London police station, where he currently remains in police custody.
As part of the investigation, officers are carrying out a search at the north-west London address. Detectives are also searching a separate commercial address in north-west London.
The investigation, which is being led by officers from the Met’s Counter Terrorism Command, is focused on a speech broadcast in August 2016 by an individual associated with the MQM movement in Pakistan as well as other speeches previously broadcast by the same person.
Throughout the investigation, officers have been liaising with Pakistani authorities in relation to our ongoing enquiries.
‘British authorities will probe MQM founder’
Pakistan’s Interior Minister Ijaz Shah speaking to journalists said MQM founder Altaf Hussain was a British citizen and would be probed by authorities there.
Shah added that at this point there was no intention to contact Interpol over the arrest of the MQM founder.
This is a developing story and more details will follow