East London

    Three charged with murder of business student

    Abdullahi Tarabi
    Abdullahi Tarabi died on same day as Syed Jamanoor Islam.

    Business student Syed Jamanoor Islam, aged 20, was stabbed during a confrontation with a group while with friends in Wager Street, Mile End, east London on Tuesday 11 April.

    He later died from stab wounds in hospital. Three male teenagers have been arrested and charged with his murder. Nayeem Chowdhury aged 18 of Burdett Road, East London; a 15-year-old from Seven Kings and a 17-year-old from Bow, appeared at Bromley Magistrates' Court on 18 April.

    In a tragic coincidence, 19-year-old Abdullahi Tarabi, from Greenford, died on same day as Syed Jamanoor Islam across town in West London.  Paramedics battled to save Abdullahi after he was stabbed in broad daylight in Northolt. He was pronounced dead just after 5.30pm. A post-mortem examination confirmed he died from a stab wound to the abdomen. Two teenage boys aged 16 and 17 have been charged with murder and appeared at Hendon Magistrates' Court on 15 April.

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    Hate crime attackers convicted

    A man, a woman and a 13-year-old girl have been found guilty of religiously aggravated assault in what police describe as ‘a brutal and completely unnecessary attack’ upon two Muslim women in South East London.

    Paul Anderson, 37 of Sevenoaks Road, Joanna Farrer, 38 of William Barefoot Drive and a 13-year-old girl, aged 12 at the time of the assault, were convicted of two counts of religiously aggravated actual bodily harm following a two-week trial at Woolwich Crown Court on 11 April. Paul Anderson was jailed for three years and four months and ordered to pay £2,000 compensation to the victims. The 13-year-old girl, who was aged 12 at the time of the assault, will be sentenced at Bromley Youth Court on a date to be set.

    The court did not name the victims, referred to only as Victim 1, a 42-year-old woman and Victim 2, her 23-year-old daughter. The pair were attacked at 8 o’clock in the evening in Eltham Hill, South East London by Paul Anderson, Joanna Farrer, the 13-year-old girl, and another identified woman.

    hate crime -PaulAnderson
    Paul Anderson

    Driving in her car, the 23-year-old victim, stopped to allow the young girl, accompanied by a boy, to cross the road. The girl then gesticulated towards the woman who then flashed her headlights and drove onto to meet her mother, who was traditionally dressed in a hijab and long Abaya. The young girl and boy walked over to the woman, racially abusing her. When the 23-year-old victim exited her car, the young girl then attacked her, kicking her in the stomach, ripping her top and punching her in the face. The woman then called the police.

    The girl walked away but then returned with Paul Anderson, Joanna Farrer and another unidentified woman in tow. Paul Anderson punched the 42-year-old woman in the face, knocking her to the ground. One of the women then tried to remove her headscarf. Anderson then hit 23-year-old Victim 2 on the nose, causing her to fall to the ground where he kicked her repeatedly.  At the same time, Joanna Farrer, the girl and the other woman attacked Victim 1 before Anderson also came over and joined in.  The suspects fled the scene when one of the victims flagged down a passing ambulance. A taxi driver witnessed the assault and helped in identifying the attackers.

    Detective Inspector Melanie Pressley, of Greenwich Community Safety Unit, said: "This was a brutal and completely unnecessary attack on two Muslim women who were racially abused and then assaulted. I have no doubt the attack would have continued had it not been for the passing ambulance one of the victims was able to flag down”.

    She emphasised the detrimental effect the assault had upon the Muslim women:

    "The victims were left terrified by what happened and lived in fear they would be targeted again. Victim 2 was too afraid to leave her house for some time”.

    She added:

    “I am delighted we have been able to secure these convictions due to an excellent investigation by Detective Constable Nwosu and show that hate crime will not be tolerated in our community and we will seek out and bring offenders before the courts. It is shocking that the instigator of this attack was just 12 years old and I hope having a conviction to her name at such a young age will be a wake-up call and encourage her to change her ways."

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    Sadiq Khan to launch inquiry into foreign property ownership

    The mayor of London Sadiq Khan has pledged to launch the UK’s most comprehensive inquiry into the impact of foreign investment on London’s housing market.

    Khan says he will commission the most thorough research on this matter ever undertaken in Britain – the biggest look of its kind at this issue, “so we can figure out exactly what can be done.”

    He insisted there are “real concerns” about the surge in the number of homes being bought by overseas investors, adding that the inquiry would map the scale of the problem for the first time.

    “It’s clear we need to better understand the different roles that overseas money plays in London’s housing market, the scale of what’s going on, and what action we can take to support development and help Londoners find a home,” Khan told the Guardian.

    Earlier this year, it was revealed how a 50-storey block of 214 luxury apartments by the river Thames in Vauxhall was more than 60% owned by foreign buyers. In one of the starkest examples of the impact of foreign investment, it found that a quarter of the flats were held by companies in secretive offshore tax havens, and many were unoccupied.

    In China, experts predict the current scale of global investment in UK property could rise significantly over the next decade, with a “new wave” of middle-class investors from mainland China quadrupling the amount of money flowing annually into foreign real estate – including the UK – to $200bn (£150bn) in the next 10 years.

    Sohaib Hamid of Reeds and Rains, said he expected a major jump in investors looking for a return in Britain, adding: “The UK market, particularly post-Brexit, is really picking up.

    “The interesting thing is that that in many ways the international investment journey is probably just starting … The exciting thing about China and India is that there are many cities with more than a million people. So London is a huge market for them.”

    Critics say the influx of foreign investors is contributing to a housing crisis in the capital. Earlier this week, it emerged that the number of thirtysomethings leaving London has leapt in recent years, as high housing costs have forced people to move out.

    Overseas buyers are also increasingly focusing on towns and cities outside the UK capital – with Manchester, Liverpool and Birmingham all identified as “hotspots” as buyers try to get more for their money while avoiding new stamp duty rules.

    Foreign investment has helped drive a fresh property building boom around the UK. Liverpool has received millions of pounds of overseas investment in housing and property in the past five years, including a £200m New Chinatown development that is under construction and is being heavily marketed in China. Earlier this year, Sheffield announced a multibillion pound deal that would generate four or five city-centre projects over the next three years and create “hundreds if not thousands” of jobs in south Yorkshire.

    The Chinese are the biggest buyers of new-build residential accommodation globally, with the Singaporeans second and the British fourth, according to international property agents Knight Frank.

    sadiqkhanwikiKhan said: “We welcome investment from around the world in building new homes, including those for first-time buyers. At the same time, as more and more Londoners struggle to get on the property ladder, there are real concerns about the prospect of a surge in the number of homes being bought by overseas investors.”

    One key aim of the research will be shining a light on who is investing and where the money originates from.

    Khan said: “We urgently need money invested in London property. Londoners need reassuring that dirty money isn’t flooding into our property market, and ministers must now make all property ownership in London transparent so we can see exactly who owns what.”

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    Khan said: “We welcome investment from around the world in building new homes, including those for first-time buyers. At the same time, as more and more Londoners struggle to get on the property ladder, there are real concerns about the prospect of a surge in the number of homes being bought by overseas investors.”

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    Mayor Sadiq Khan appoints deputy mayor for business to safeguard jobs through Brexit fallout

    The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, has today (29 June) appointed Rajesh Agrawal as his deputy mayor for business.

    Sadiq Khan has tasked Rajesh Agrawal with championing London’s interests following the EU referendum, and protecting jobs and growth while the negotiation process takes place.

    The Mayor is calling for Britain and London to remain part of the European single market, and for the capital to be granted more autonomy in order to safeguard its business interests. This includes greater powers over skills, infrastructure, housing and planning.

    Rajesh Agrawal, a fintech entrepreneur and innovator, is the founder and CEO of Xendpay, an international money transfer service, and RationalFX, an online foreign exchange service - both of which have grown into globally successful businesses.

    Born and brought up in Indore, India, Rajesh arrived in London in 2001, and grew a two-person enterprise working from one small office into a multi-million pound business based in London, with offices in Birmingham, France and Spain.

    Sadiq Khan said: “I’ve pledged to be the most business-friendly Mayor that London has ever had, and it is now more vital than ever that we act robustly from City Hall to protect our economy from the current uncertainty.

    "London must stay in the single market and be given more powers to ensure we can remain competitive, in order to attract the global enterprise that London’s prosperity relies on. Having arrived in London equipped with the ambition to succeed, Rajesh has created a multi-million pound business from scratch and knows first-hand the challenges that our business leaders face, and what it takes to be a successful entrepreneur. I know that Rajesh is the best person for the job of protecting jobs and growth in London as we deal with the fallout of the referendum.”

    Rajesh Agrawal said: “Having run my own global businesses, I know how important it is that London remains welcoming to European and international trade. I stepped on a plane for the first time 15 years ago to make the journey to London, and found a city that welcomed me with open arms and didn’t make me feel like a stranger. This openness to talent and enterprise must not change as a result of the referendum.

    “I share Sadiq’s belief that a thriving economy is critical to ensure that all Londoners can share in our great city’s future success. The Mayor and I are determined to build a coalition that ensures the needs of business and financial services are at the fore over the coming months of negotiations with the EU. My first priority will be to listen and engage with businesses, to hear their concerns and deliver reassurance.

    “These are extraordinary times and with this comes clear opportunities to reshape our city’s business landscape. We must champion London’s business at home and abroad, whilst equipping our young people for success, tackling rising business and housing costs and securing critical future infrastructure investment.”

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    Mayor of London Sadiq Khan joins Amir Khan and Naughty Boy at The British Asian Trust Iftar event

    One of The Prince's Charities, The British Asian Trust, the UK's leading organisation for British Asian philanthropy, hosted a special evening on June 20 to observe the Islamic month of Ramadan. The event, which featured a traditional Iftar dinner, took place at the prestigious The Savoy and was attended by some of The Trust's key trustees, supporters and ambassadors. The night highlighted the important work of the Trust's Ramadan appeal 'Mind, Body and Sew' for vulnerable women in Pakistan.

    Sadiq Khan, the Mayor of London, attended the evening as the Guest of Honour and addressed the audience about the essential charitable work The British Asian Trust is undertaking across South Asia, as well as the importance of Ramadan amongst the Islamic community in the UK. The event was also attended by British boxing champion Amir Khan, music producer Naughty Boy and BBC Sport presenter Reshmin Chowdhury amongst others.

    Naughty Boy (L) and Amir Khan attend The British Asian Trust Iftar Evening  [Image Credit: Dave J Hogan]
    Naughty Boy (L) and Amir Khan attend The British Asian Trust Iftar Evening [Image Credit: Dave J Hogan]

     Sadiq Khan says: "This is my first Ramadan as the Mayor of London, and it has been a great opportunity to bring together all communities across the city. It has been especially humbling to see the Muslim community making incredible efforts to support charities and philanthropy throughout the month. The British Asian Trust in particular has continued to do outstanding work - their contribution to the South Asian community globally over the last nine years has been exceptional and as a British Asian myself, I am proud to see so many influential Londoners supporting them. Ramadan Mubarak."

    Richard Hawkes, CEO of the British Asian Trust adds: "Ramadan is traditionally a time for extra giving and goodwill and we have created a campaign during this month to highlight our work to positively impact the lives of some of the most vulnerable women in Pakistan. Tonight's Iftar dinner brings together some of our most prominent donors and supporters to highlight our work in Pakistan and we are delighted to be joined by the Mayor Of London, a proud British Pakistani himself, to share our message and help raise funds to change as many lives as possible in South Asia."

    The event was hosted by BBC News presenter and Trust ambassador Asad Ahmad, who last month travelled to Pakistan, where he met some of the country's most vulnerable women to learn more about The British Asian Trust's work upon their lives. The presenter provided a first-hand account of his visit to highlight the importance of the Trust's fundraising appeal during this campaign.

    During Ramadan this year, The British Asian Trust has launched the 'Mind, Body and Sew' appeal to highlight the life-changing work and raise funds to help give more women a hand up instead of a hand out to ensure they can secure a sustainable livelihood for themselves and their families.

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