THE National Crime Agency (NCA) has frozen an account worth more than £1 million due to suspected links to serious organised criminals.

A £1.13 million Account Freezing Order (AFO) was obtained by the NCA as part of an investigation into 39-year-old businessman, Mansoor Mahmood Hussain.

Westminster Magistrates' Court granted the order on Thursday, January 9.

It concerns an account connected to 500 M Limited.

The company is linked to Mr Hussain, who has several businesses under his name in the Stanningley area, according to Companies House.

An AFO is a civil order rather than criminal, and does not represent a finding of guilt on the part of the account holder.

But, it will prevent the money in the account being dissipated, and enable the NCA to further investigate the funds and find out whether or not they are derived from - or intended for use in - unlawful conduct.

If this is the case, the NCA will seek to recover the money.

Andy Lewis, Head of Asset Denial at the NCA, said: "This latest order will enable the NCA to properly scrutinise a sizeable sum of money.

"We are using all available tools to carry out investigations into possible illicit finance, and these efforts are a vital part of protecting the people and economy of the UK from serious and organised crime."

The agency also obtained an Unexplained Wealth Order (UWO) back in July 2019, in relation to eight UK properties which had been purchased by Mr Hussain.

He was ordered to reveal the source of funds used to acquire and develop the £10 million property portfolio.

Officers believe the purchases were funded by a number of criminal associates involved in drug trafficking, armed robberies and supplying firearms.

The court also imposed orders preventing the properties from being sold, transferred or dissipated during the NCA’s investigation.