A man allegedly leading a luxury lifestyle due to alleged tax evasion, illegal property purchases and large-scale drug trafficking was found with Bentleys, stolen artwork and a “party box” of drugs.
Forty-year-old Aram Sheibani has amassed significant “unexplained wealth”, according to the jury, including houses and apartments valued at nearly £ 5 million.
He denies a number of charges and is on trial in Manchester Crown Court.
On day two of the trial, the jury heard that Mr. Sheibani of Trafford had obtained residential real estate through fraud and used deposits on the real estate to hide the source of his “illicit profits”.
Prosecutor Nicholas Clarke QC said: “He had sizeable sums of unrecorded cash transferred to and from his bank accounts in the UK and abroad and was adopting a lifestyle of designer goods, expensive artwork (albeit some of it stolen). and often international, travel was the norm.
“He also bought two military Enco phones that are very difficult to crack, extremely specialized, and expensive.
“Prosecutors say senior criminals are using ‘enco’ phones to hide criminal activity from law enforcement eyes.”
Officials also found an Ironkey Mission Impossible USB storage device that was found to be tamper-proof and costly. If more than ten passwords are entered incorrectly, the device will destroy all data contained in them.
It has been said that despite many requests for passwords for the “Enco” phones and Ironkey, Mr. Sheibani has not provided any information to date.
The Crown claims that Mr. Sheibani’s tax records are incomplete and there have been some years when he has not filed a tax return or has not disclosed any income, profits or capital gains.
It was said that there were significant deposits into his bank accounts that were not rental income, such as more than £ 267,000 from the sale of watches and £ 50,100 from the sale of gold coins.
Mr Sheibani bought a Bentley and documents show that a deposit of £ 25,000 was made. However, his bank statements only show a transfer of £ 5,000, it said.
“He also bought a white Bentley convertible, bought it in California, it was brand new, and paid $ 250,000 in cash,” Clarke told QC.
Total bank deposits and unidentified cash / unknown payments reportedly over £ 3M.
The court heard that Mr. Sheibani traveled extensively within Europe and from 2010 flew internationally to Dubai, Hong Kong, Los Angeles and Colombia.
“The police received his passport and he went to Colombia and visited three different cities,” added the prosecutor.
“Mr. Sheibani has also been subjected to two stops at border authorities where other significant amounts of money were confiscated.”
On July 17, 2011, he was stopped at Manchester Airport on his return from Ibiza. After a search, it was found in a plastic bag with over 42,000 euros.
Less than 12 months later, he was intercepted again and found with more money, it said.
The court heard that several Proceeds of Crime Act arrest warrants were being carried out at several addresses linked to Mr Sheibani in Manchester and London.
Officers visited an apartment in Bowdon where Mr. Sheibani and his girlfriend were living at the time, it was reported.
He tried to “thwart” the police investigation by not opening the door and “destroying evidence” until officers broke through the community door, prosecutors said.
Once inside, he appeared to be compliant at first and directed officers to a large metal vault which he claims contained £ 150,000 in cash and cocaine.
When escorted out of the apartment, he called to his girlfriend, “Don’t tell them anything, don’t comment … they’ll try to get you to talk, so don’t comment.”
The secure officers found over £ 160,000 in cash as well as a piece of paper with 24 handwritten words that was later recognized as the seed for cryptocurrency recovery and a code for a bitcoin wallet worth £ 136,000 and is now worth over £ 1 , Should have 5 pounds m.
The officers also found drugs, two “Enco” phones, two cash counters and confiscated the keys to a black Porsche Panamera that was parked outside, the court heard.
They also discovered a cache of drugs, considered a “party box,” which contained cocaine, MDMA, Viagra, and numbing cream, it said.
On the same day, police carried out search warrants in three lockers, in which more cash, laptops, an Apple Macbook and two Porsche keys were found.
Mr. Clarke QC added, “Two pieces of the artwork that were also confiscated from the apartment have since been identified as ‘Laundromat’ and ‘Favor’ by Ray Caesar – only 20 prints are in circulation.
“Banksy’s ‘Golf Sale’ and Andy Warhol’s ‘Ships’ were also recovered.
“We say these works of art were all stolen using debit cards, with the payment going through first, then reversed, and then the items stolen.”
Manchester courts are among the busiest in the country. A large number of cases are heard each week.
To stay up to date on how justice is maintained in Greater Manchester, subscribe to our free weekly MEN Court News newsletter, compiled by our court reporters Andrew Bardsley and Amy Walker.
How do I sign up?
- First just click on this link to our newsletter registration center.
- Once you get there, enter your email address above and check the MEN Court News box. There are other newsletters available if you would like these.
- When you’ve made your choices, click the Save Changes button below.
In the police interview, he did not answer any of the questions asked and refused to provide passwords for his cell phones, computers and the USB Ironkey, the court heard.
Mr Sheibani of Delamer Road, Bowdon denies having received dishonest money transfers. Scam; Forgery; Conversion of criminal property; Possession of criminal property; Conspiracy to deliver controlled drugs (cocaine) and distort the path of justice.