An international crime boss from Trafford who lived a ‘life of luxury’ has been jailed for 37 years after being brought down by Greater Manchester Police.
Aram Sheibani was described as a “calculated, deceitful and scheming” individual who funded his £5 million property estate, collection of classic cars and yacht parties through drug dealing and fraud.
But the crime boss was taken down when police raided one of his opulent homes in Altrincham in 2019 – with officers finding thousands in cash, safety deposit keys, crypto currency recovery codes, cocaine, and two mobile phones with military grade encryption.
Two devices were smashed and submerged down the toilet in an attempt by Sheibani to destroy evidence.
During further raids of Sheibani’s other properties, police found cash counting machines, encrypted USBs, and a ‘substantial amount’ of drugs including cocaine, ketamine and ecstasy.
Two Bentleys, a gull wing Mercedes and a Porsche were recovered, as well as a number of original artwork pieces – including those by artists such as Banksy and Andy Warhol – which were later found to be obtained through illegitimate means.
The warrants led to the discovery of £1.2 million of cash and £1.5 million in crypto currency overall.
Sheibani dedicated time to covering his tracks by purchasing, re-mortgaging and selling properties in the UK and Spain – attempting to ‘complicate and frustrate law enforcement’ with regards to understanding his income.
He also obtained properties by fraud – masquerading as a legitimate businessman whilst falsifying his earnings to facilitate further borrowing.
Sheibani failed to file tax returns or declare income during some financial years, and produced forged documents and bank statements to support his false declared earnings.
During interrogation, he failed to provide pins and passwords for encrypted electronic devices and iron key USB – behaviour for which he was given an additional three years in jail.
Sentencing Sheibani at Manchester Crown Square Crown Court for 20 fraud, money laundering and drug offences, Judge Anthony Cross QC told the 40-year-old that his “greed knew no boundaries.”
Sergeant Lucy Pearson, of GMP’s Economic Crime Unit, called Sheibani a “dishonest individual who has not shown any remorse for his actions throughout this entire investigation, refusing to co-operate with police and attempting to destroy evidence.”
She added: “The extent of Sheibani’s criminality should not be underestimated, not only is he involved in tax evasion and money laundering which has a detrimental effect on the economy and society, resulting in honest tax payers feeling that burden, but the source of his tainted income is as a result of a class A drugs conspiracy.
“May today’s sentencing serve as a warning to anyone thinking they can get away with such fraudulent and criminal activity, we will find you, and ensure that you face the full consequences of your actions.”
Manchester music store Forsyth is giving away free music lessons
Manchester music store Forsyth is giving away a host of free music lessons next month in a bid to inspire people to learn a new instrument, or pick up an old one.
The store is giving new and returning musicians a chance to receive a 10–15-minute free music taster session as part of its Music for All Learn to Play ’22 event.
Taking place across 8 and 9 October between 10am-5pm (8 October) and 1130am-30pm (9 October),short taster music lessons will allow all ages and abilities to have a musical experience that could turn into a lifetime of enjoyment, or even a new career.
Speaking on the free music lesson initiative, Emma from Forsyths said: “The past two years have shown how important music is to all our lives and how it can bring people together even in the most difficult of circumstances.
“We aim to help as many people as possible understand the unique joys and benefits of learning an instrument (or taking part in a choir).
“Anyone interested in learning to play an instrument or looking to pick it up again, should come and join us for this two-day celebration of music making.
“We’re delighted to be part of Music for All’s Learn to Play ’22 event, and we can’t wait to get started.”
OBE Jools Holland, Patron of Music for All, said: “Making music is very important to me. It’s my work, my pleasure, my friend, companion and therapist.
The charity Music for All believes passionately in the unique power of music to change lives and that is why it runs Learn to Play.
Music for All believes everyone should have equal access to music making.
The charity supports disadvantaged music makers by providing cash grants for tuition and instruments and by donating instruments directly.
Celebrated author Dame Hilary Mantel has died ‘suddenly yet peacefully’ aged 70
Dame Hilary Mantel has died aged 70.
The unexpected passing of the critically-acclaimed author whose celebrated career spans nearly five decades has just been announced by her agents 4th Estate Books and her publishing team at HarperCollins in two separate statements released this morning – who confirmed that she died “suddenly yet peacefully”.
The Glossop-born writer was famed for historical fiction work, and was most-known for being the author of the beloved Wolf Hall trilogy.
The statement by her agents confirming her passing reads: “We are heartbroken at the death of our beloved author, Dame Hilary Mantel, and our thoughts are with her friends and family, especially her husband, Gerald.
“This is a devastating loss and we can only be grateful she left us with such a magnificent body of work.”
Mantel’s publishers HarperCollins called her “one of the greatest English novelists of this century”.
The company’s statement reads: “It is with great sadness that AM Heath and HarperCollins announce that bestselling author Dame Hilary Mantel DBE died suddenly yet peacefully yesterday, surrounded by close family and friends, aged 70.
“Hilary Mantel was one of the greatest English novelists of this century and her beloved works are considered modern classics.
Mantel has twice been awarded the Booker Prize, the first time for the 2009 novel Wolf Hall, a fictional account of Thomas Cromwell’s rise to power in the court of Henry VIII, and secondly for the 2012 novel Bring Up the Bodies, the second instalment of the Cromwell trilogy.
She was the first woman, and fourth person, to receive the award twice.