A CAR DEALER who was convicted of selling "clocked" vehicles 11 years ago has agreed to surrender an additional £146,000 in assets.

Akif Rashid Butt, 52, will pay back the extra money after a National Crime Agency (NCA) financial investigation found that he had paid the original confiscation order of £154,000 with hidden assets.

The 52-year-old, who lives in Pudsey, was originally arrested back in 2006.

It was found that he had been purchasing high mileage cars, and having the meters of the vehicles significantly reduced so that he could sell them at a higher price to unaware customers.

This came to light when West Yorkshire Trading Standards officers swooped on the dealership Mr Butt owned at the time, at Leeds Road in Shipley, which was previously trading under the name Cars R Us.

It was discovered that Mr Butt had been "clocking" vehicles between May and September in 2005.

He pleaded guilty to 15 offences relating to 12 "clocked" vehicles, and received six months imprisonment and a Confiscation Order to forfeit the proceeds of his crimes.

The Assets Recovery Agency (ARA) carried out the confiscation investigation, which assessed a criminal benefit total of £890,471.80.

Mr Butt was ordered to pay £154,000 of that amount in 2009, which was based on his assessed available assets across three properties and £5,000 in his bank account.

The 52-year-old paid this in full by October 2010.

But a financial investigation by the NCA’s Asset Confiscation Enforcement team identified that, despite paying the required sum, Mr Butt had still retained assets on which the original confiscation order was based. 

Mr Butt had forfeited interest in one property to the value of £50,000, but retained the other two properties assessed for the order, with equity valued at £98,930 at the time.

The confiscation order had been paid utilising other funds.

Mr Butt accepted at a hearing at Bradford Crown Court on Friday, November 13, that the available amount in the confiscation order granted in 2009 be increased to £300,000, in light of his retention of property and the uncovering of new assets.

The 52-year-old was ordered to forfeit £146,000, as he had already paid £154,000 towards the order 11 years ago.

The amount is to be paid within three months, with a period of 27 months imprisonment in default.

Andy Lewis, Head of Asset Denial at the NCA, said: “Over ten years had passed since Mr Butt was served his initial confiscation order, and it’s likely he thought that he had got away with retaining assets subject of the original confiscation order.

“This should serve as a reminder to criminals that there is a debt to be paid for criminal activity, and the NCA are relentless in their pursuit of criminal assets.”