Police must repay money taken from cleric's son

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The Independent Online

The police have been ordered to return £14,000 they confiscated from the son of an exiled Muslim cleric after a judge ruled the cash was not intended for "terrorist purposes".

Abdul Fostock, 25, was stopped by officers in October 2006 when he was about to travel to Beirut to visit his father, Omar Bakri, who was banned from the UK in the wake of the July 7 terror attacks.

Southwark Crown Court in London heard that Mr Fostock was carrying £14,420 in envelopes. Mr Fostock, of Enfield, Middlesex, told officers he received the money from "friends and family" and intended to distribute it as an "Eid present".

But the police told an appeal hearing there were "reasonable grounds" to "suspect the money had been intended for the purposes of crime" and it was seized.

Judge David Higgins said he believed the money was indeed an "Eid present" – money given to the poor at the end of Ramadan, and ruled that the police must return the cash within 14 days and pay Mr Foster's court costs totalling £4,000.

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