On December 3, 2019, the UK’s National Crime Agency announced a £190 million out-of-court civil settlement with Malik Riaz, an enormously wealthy and controversial property tycoon from Pakistan. It was the largest settlement ever made by the NCA, which added that the outcome did “did not represent a finding of guilt”.

The settlement included 1 Hyde Park Place, a sumptuous £50 million property in London’s exclusive Knightsbridge and which had previously belonged to the son of former Pakistan prime minister Nawaz Sharif.

But what happened to the £190 million once it was returned to Pakistan had been shrouded in secrecy.

Finance Uncovered obtained documents and secured interviews with key players to enable Pakistan journalist, Naziha Syed Ali, to write her deep investigation into the matter. Her findings caused outrage among Pakistan’s legal community.

Read the Dawn story by Naziha Syed Ali here.

Posted by Margot Gibbs

Margot Gibbs was until December 2020 an investigative journalist at Finance Uncovered specialising in UK facilitation of corruption, natural resources and the environment. She has covered corruption in the Nigerian oil industry for Africa Confidential, revealed secret contracts underpinning a private tax haven in the Marshall Islands, and produced critically-acclaimed radio for BBC Radio 4. Working with NGOs, she has investigated corruption in the arms industry and the London property market, financing of environmentally destructive palm oil projects in Indonesia, and conflicts of interest in the UK accounting regulator. She is an expert in obtaining documents via freedom of information laws and has uncovered stories which have provoked policy changes in the UK and internationally.