Biryani Project: the Webcheck remix

Which companies did Afzal Amin intend to use for his various schemes? Here’s a rundown.

1) Curzon Education Ltd. This was formed on the 30th of July, 2013, as a company limited by guarantee (i.e. a nonprofit), by Afzal Amin as sole director. Its address is given as 1 VICTORIA SQUARE, BIRMINGHAM, B1 1BD, and its business is described as “educational support services”. It is active and filed a return on 10th November 2014, although not its accounts.

2) The Curzon Initiative Ltd, company number 08631604. This was formed on the 31st of July, 2013, as a private limited company (i.e. a commercial, profitmaking entity), with £10,000 founding capital, by Afzal Amin and Michelle Clayton. She is described as an education consultant, but quit the board in October 2013. However, the company didn’t get around to notifying Companies House until November 2014. This may not be surprising as it hasn’t filed its accounts either, which are now so overdue that it is threatened with being struck off the register. Its address is also given as 1 VICTORIA SQUARE, BIRMINGHAM, B1 1BD.

3) UKS3 Ltd. This was formed on the 11th of June, 2012, as a private limited company, with £10,000 capital, by Afzal Amin as sole director. It was also tardy, failing to file for 2012-2013 for a full 12 months until it was threatened with being struck off on the 10th of June, 2014, whereupon Amin rattled his dags, as the Aussies say, and filed on the 17th. Its business is described as “Management consultancy other than financial”. Its address is 3RD FLOOR, 207 REGENT STREET, LONDON, W1B 3HH, which it shares with no fewer than 5,282 other directors – that is to say, it’s a mail drop address. Google Street View shows it to be next door to a rather nice Italian caff I occasionally used when I worked around the corner in Mortimer Street.

4) Now this is distinctly odd. Birmingham has multiple Curzon Initiatives and they’re both in the education business. This one – company number 07163796 for the avoidance of confusion – was incorporated in February 2010, providing “Other educational services” from an address at 1022-1026 COVENTRY ROAD, HAYMILLS, BIRMINGHAM, WEST MIDLANDS, B25 8DP, before it moved to 1 VICTORIA SQUARE, BIRMINGHAM, WEST MIDLANDS, B1 1BD, the same address as the other Curzon Initiative, on the 17th of February, 2011. Not long after the move, it became tardy as well – it filed its accounts and return for 2010-2011 very late and never filed anything again, until it was struck-off on the 18th of June, 2013 after ignoring two warnings from Companies House, i.e. six weeks before the other Curzon Initiative stood up.

At the time of its demise, it had one director, Mr Mohammed Hanif. But it was not always so. Jahan Mahmood and Samir Rauf were also founding directors, but Mahmood quit after a month. Tassadduq Hussain Razzaq then joined, on the 22nd of April, 2010. He and Rauf would both quit on the 16th of November, 2011, just after it was threatened with being struck-off for the second time and was spurred into filing.

Would that be Jahan Mahmood, “former adviser to the Office for Security and Counter-Terrorism (OSCT) in the Home Office” and “historian and former lecturer at the University of Birmingham, specialising in the martial traditions of Afghan and Pakistani diaspora communities”? I think it might, especially in the light of this:

In an email to a member of a military think tank, sent just after the attack on Lee Rigby in Woolwich in May, which he asked to be passed to General Sir David Richards, then Chief of the Defence Staff, Mr Mahmood said that he “can only hope” that the OSCT communicated his concerns “to army personnel”.

“Military thinktank”? Uh huh. This parliamentary report strongly suggests the whole “talks in schools about the Indian Army” scheme might have been his idea. They were quite…compelling, too.

In a community centre in the British Midlands, 12 teenage boys — all of south Asian descent — watch intently as Jahan Mahmood unzips a canvas bag and pulls out the dark, angular shape of a World War Two machine gun. He unfolds the tripod, places the unloaded weapon on a table and pulls back the cocking handle. The boys crane forward. Mahmood pulls the trigger; a sharp snap rings out.

As for Samir Rauf, is that the school governor who was either plotting to set up his own classroom caliphate, or smeared outrageously by Michael Gove, depending on who you believe? I rather think he might be.

Mr Razzaq is a little more complicated, due to variant spellings, but he seems to have been a director of….

5) Yet another Curzon entity, The Curzon Foundation Ltd, company number 07211459. This was set up on April Fools’ Day 2010, appropriately enough, and struck-off at its own request in November 2011. Its address was UNIT 5 HIGHGATE BUSINESS CENTRE, HIGHGATE ROAD, BIRMINGHAM, B12 8EA, which was also the final resting place of 07163796 above, and before that it was based at 1 Victoria Square. As well as Razzaq, it had another director, Mohammed Hanif, presumably the same man found in 07163796. You will not be surprised to know its filings were also late.

Razzaq seems to have been a director of Xpress Healthcare Ltd and possibly also Easy Lettings Ltd and a law firm, and maybe more. Alternatively it might be this guy who seems to be a property developer. (It’s always property developers.) I’m guessing he’s the money, as he doesn’t seem to be in the news ever.

You’ll notice that although there is a Foundation and Education and a couple of Initiatives, there is no Institute. Dan Davies points out on twitter that this is because calling yourself an Institute is illegal in itself.

A question, though? Is Mohammed Hanif the Mohammed Hanif who is a Labour councillor for Dudley? If so he’s got some explaining to do as his declaration of interests says nothing about them, but I think the councillor is this man and our Hanif is this one. There are plenty of options – drugs farmer is one, but he’s 52 and our man is 46. A Mohammed Hanif from Birmingham was a mortgage broker until he was banned in 2009 as a fraudster and tax-evader, which would be fun and might explain why none of these people manage to FILE THEIR DAMN ACCOUNTS on time. A man from Walsall who has been banned from operating buses. Here’s a LinkedIn profile for a Mohammed Hanif described as “Director, Operations for the Curzon Institute”, which is uninformative but does substantiate the link between this Curzon entity and Afzal Amin’s.

Or maybe Inspector Mohammed Hanif (Inspector and National coordinator of the Muslim Police Association)? I think we may have a winner, because he joined the force in 1992. If he’s our man he would have been 23, which is a sensible age for a probationer cop. Are cops allowed to have outside business interests?

And finally, perhaps convicted mortgage fraudster Stephen Yaxley-Lennon might not have been entirely honest with the Mail. Here’s the Dudley News from the 26th of February.

Afzal Amin, the Conservative parliamentary candidate for Dudley North, added: “The event was very peaceful, it was the calmest EDL event I have ever seen.”

I bet it was. After all:

Chief Supt Johnson said the force did not organise the event but it was important to have “an element of control”. He said he understood why people were fearful but said he hoped the way the event was controlled would give residents the confidence to carry on as normal

That’s Chief Superintendent Chris Johnson, named in the Amin/SYL tapes. So Project Biryani really did go into action after all. And guess who else is here?

Councillor Mohammed Hanif also praised the police for the work they did before the event, reassuring the local Muslim community of what to expect on the day.

For it is he! I wonder if he’s related to the cop? Anyway, the Dudley News piece reminded me of this:

Because somebody has to stay in control…

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.