The son of a Muslim cleric Abu Hamza who was convicted of terror offences in the U.S has been imprisoned for money laundering offences, one of which was in connection with money stolen from HSBC and its customers.
Tito Ibn-Sheikh, 35, entered guilty pleas at Southwark Crown Court in November and appeared in court today (11 January) to be sentenced to 45 months’ imprisonment in total. He was formerly known as Hamza Miustafa Kamel) [DOB: 17/10/1986] of Godolphin Road, Fulham
When he was arrested by the Metropolitan Police in a Cricklewood cafe on 17 December 2019 he had a bag with a number of bank cards, passports, driving licenses and ID cards from individuals from the UK, France, Bulgaria and Italy. He also had £12,000 in cash along with 12 iPhones, with various financial identities he had stolen.
He also played a role in an investment fraud where a victim was tricked into handing over 224,000 Euros into an account controlled by Ibn-Sheikh. After the Metropolitan Police froze the account a photograph of the freezing order was found on Ibn-Sheikh’s phone. A cider manufacturer was defrauded when invoices were altered to transfer £104,301.62 into the same account controlled by Ibn-Sheikh. The money was then moved on to a Chinese account the next day.
Russell Tyner, of the CPS Organised Crime Division, said: “Ibn-Sheikh was perfectly willing to bank and move large amounts of stolen money. “The number of passports and other ID showed he was more than just a neutral recipient of the cash.
“He was an active and willing participant in the conspiracy and he had the ability and means to create false accounts to launder cash. “His guilty pleas shows the strength of the case against him. “These are not victimless crimes and wherever possible the CPS will work with our law enforcement partners to bring money laundering cases before a court and any ill-gotten gains recovered.”
At the time, Tito ibn Sheikh was on licence following his release from a 12-year prison term for leading a gang who kidnapped a man and tortured him over a £15,000 debt almost a decade ago.
The victim was knifed, battered with a metal bar and wooden cosh and nearly strangled to death.
‘His neck was squeezed so hard he thought his tongue would pop out,’ is how the prosecution described a particularly brutal aspect of his three-day ordeal.
Tito ibn Sheikh was also jailed for two-and-a-half years in 2009 for being part of a gang which stole 32 luxury cars worth more than £1 million.
He wore his hair in a ponytail and was dressed in a green prison tracksuit when he appeared in court again this week.
His barrister said that his client had changed his name to distance himself from his father.
‘His father has a degree of notoriety which has caused him substantial difficulty and he and other members of his family have changed their names as a result,’ the barrister explained in mitigation. .It was in 1979 that Abu Hamza arrived in Britain from Egypt. He was given indefinite leave to stay after marrying a British woman.
Hamza had one son with his first wife, Valerie Traverso, and five with his second, Najat Mostafa. Najat still lives in a Victorian terrace that sits on a quiet gentrified street in Shepherd’s Bush, West London, where the Hamzas have been since the mid-1990s.
Tito was convicted of
- Count 1/ conspiracy to disguise, convert or transfer criminal property with another between 28 May 2018 and 18 December 2019, contrary to section 327(1) of the Proceeds of Crime Act – three years and nine months’ imprisonment
- Count 3/ conspiracy to disguise, convert or transfer criminal property with others between 1 August and 30 September 2019, contrary to section 327(1) of the Proceeds of Crime Act – 16 months’ imprisonment
- Count 4/ possession of articles in connection with fraud, contrary to section 6 of the Fraud Act 2006 – 16 months’ imprisonment
- Count 5/ possession of an identity document with improper intent, contrary to section 4 of the Identity Documents Act 2010 – 16 months’ imprisonment
- Count 6/ possession of criminal property, contrary to section 329(1) and 334 of the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 – 12 months’ imprisonment
Tito ibn Sheikh, as he is now, is one of Abu Hamza’s six sons.
Four of them have criminal convictions for offences including terrorism, armed robbery, drug dealing, fraud and burglary, and the remaining two have a track record of Islamic extremism.
Abu Hamza, the infamous ‘hook-handed’ cleric of Finsbury Park mosque who is now serving life without the possibility of parole in the U.S. for terror offences there and in the UK.
Son number 1
Mohammed Kamel Mostafa, 40 — Hamza’s eldest and only son by first wife Valerie Traverso — was 17 when he was accused of masterminding a bombing campaign to sabotage tourist and economic sites in Yemen in August 1999.
Rocket-propelled grenades, explosives, anti-tank rockets, mines and communication equipment were found belonging to the armed gang. Claims they were tortured into confessing were dismissed by a court.
Mostafa spent three years in prison in the Arab state before returning to London in 2002. He got a job on the Underground but was fired after colleagues discovered his identity.
Later, he launched a career in rap, with lyrics about waging holy war and carrying weapons. ‘I was born to a soldier,’ one his verses went, ‘Kalashnikov in my shoulder, peace to Hamas and Hezbollah.’
It wasn’t long, however, before he was back behind bars. In 2009, he was part of a gang that targeted luxury cars. They received the log books and keys of vehicles left in long-stay car parks, such as BMWs, Range Rovers and Mercedes, by using a loophole in the DVLA system to divert registration details. The vehicles were then sold on the Continent.
Mostafa was jailed for two years for his part in the scam, along with his brother Tito ibn Sheikh (then still called Hamza Mustafa Kamel) who is now inside for money laundering, and stepbrother Mohssin Ghailam (four years).
Yasser Kamel, 31, is serving four years after police raided his flat in Park Royal, West London, in 2019, and found ‘top quality’ cocaine, MDMA, ecstasy and ketamine with a street value of £30,000.
Among the tell-tale paraphernalia of his ‘trade’ were two electric scales and an encrypted phone. ‘The drugs were high purity and the circumstances show you have close links to the source and the expectation of substantial financial gain,’ the judge told him after he admitted possession with intent to supply class A and B drugs.
Kamel blamed his father’s arrest and extradition, when he was around 14, for his own life of crime. He has a conviction for burglary and spent 12 months in youth detention for attacking police during a demonstration outside the Israeli embassy. He turned to drug dealing, he said, because he ‘ran out of money to pay rent’.
Imran Mostafa Kamel, 29, was part of a gang that raided a jeweller’s store in King’s Lynn, Norfolk. They escaped with gems worth £70,000 after brandishing a handgun and smashing display cabinets with a sledgehammer in what was described as a ‘sophisticated and well-planned’ daylight heist.
A ‘smoke-producing device’ was set off in an attempt to disguise those involved. The violent intrusion in 2012 was captured on CCTV. For those who had the misfortune to be working in the premises it must have been an absolutely terrifying experience,’ said the judge, who jailed Mostafa for 11 years.
Mostafa had denied robbery and possessing a firearm with the intent to commit an offence. Two years ago, he was charged with two gun offences after a melee outside a party in London’s Park Lane in which a bouncer was stabbed to death. The charges were later dropped.
He is still listed on the electoral roll as living at the family home in Shepherd’s Bush.
Sufyan Mustafa, 27, was stripped of his British citizenship three years ago.
Former computer sciences student Mustafa had travelled to Syria in 2013 when he was 19. He claimed he was fighting with rebels against the Assad regime. But when he tried to return to the UK in 2018, his name flagged up on a terrorist watchlist and he was stopped from boarding a flight to the UK from Turkey. Through his mother, Najat, he also had Moroccan nationality but he said he did not wish to go there.
Othman Mustafa Kamal, 33, followed in his father’s footsteps and became an imam.
He was captured on video back in 2012 calling for holy war and backed a suspected Al Qaeda terrorist who attempted to murder U.S. FBI agents in Afghanistan. In one of his filmed ‘sermons’ Kamal, who was preaching at the An-Noor mosque in Acton, West London, recites the Koran to worshippers before graphic images fill the screen including a man holding the head of a decapitated enemy soldier.
During another clip, he prays for Aafia Siddiqui, dubbed ‘Lady Al Qaeda’, the female Pakistani neuroscientist who was jailed for 86 years in New York in 2010 for the attempted murder of U.S. soldiers who were interrogating her in Afghanistan.
A mosque spokesman at the time admitted his videos could be used by London-based extremists to foment hatred in the capital and should never have been uploaded. Kamal is no longer connected to the mosque which came under new management in 2015.
More recently, he was the director of a company called Burlington Ltd which rented and leased cars. The company, which was registered at the family home in Shepherd’s Bush where Kamal is still listed on the electoral roll, has been dissolved.