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The Islamic connection

Jon Coles

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Linked to Loca Ventures: Shaykh Faizul Aqtab Siddiqi

Linked to Loca Ventures: Shaykh
Faizul Aqtab Siddiqi

THE COMPANY behind the plans to turn Parc Howard into a conference centre and wedding venue, Loca Ventures Ltd, has recently changed its registered office address. The reasons why are not clear, but the timing coincided with questions from The Herald as to why the company was based at the same address as an Islamic college in Watling Street, Nuneaton.

The Hijaz College Islamic University, located in a secluded 62 acre countryside setting, down a long private drive, is a boarding school young men aged 18 year or over run by top Islamic preacher and lawyer Shaykh Faizul Aqtab Siddiqi. According to that college’s own website, the facilities at Hijaz provide one of the best learning environments for Muslims available anywhere in the world.

The college is aligned with a strict form of Islam called Ahle Sunnat Wal Jama’at, and according to his own literature, its top man Siddiqi, has ‘established one of the most effective global networks with a proven ability to unite and harness communities to effect positive societal transition and positive change on a local, national and international level.’

But Siddiqi is a highly controversial figure outside the Muslim world. He is an advocate of the courts of sharia law. In 2008, The Telegraph reported that five sharia courts have been set up in London, Birmingham, Bradford and Manchester and Nuneaton, Warwickshire. One of those is at the Hijaz College where Sheikh Faiz-ul-Aqtab Siddiqi runs his court. Heading the Muslim Arbitration Tribunal he said at the time that sharia courts are classified as arbitration tribunals under a clause in the Arbitration Act 1996.

But are there any other links between Loca Ventures Ltd and a controversial Muslim with a plan for spreading sharia law throughout the UK? A quick internet Who Is check showed that the website for the Hijaz College and Loca Ventures Ltd

Was Loca’s registered address: Hijaz College

Was Loca’s registered address: Hijaz College

were BOTH registered by one Rizwan Ali of Chancery Domains Limited. This third company is also registered in Nuneaton at what seems like a business address, 7 High Street, but despite the name it’s a residential a terrace of houses. There is no evidence on line Chancery Domains is bona fide company advertising for customers. There are no signs on the outside of the property suggesting a business is registered there. A quick call to some of the residents on the street demonstrated that neighbours had not heard of the company either.

A further check with the land registry shows that 7 High Street, worth £97,000, is owned by Siddiqi with a mortgage from HSBC Bank PLC.

The new registered office address, in Hinckley Leicestershire is a former pub/restaurant owned by a corporation registered in the Cayman Islands.

The more we dig, it seems, the more tangled the web becomes.

One thing is for sure, Loca Ventures Ltd are trying to hide who is truly behind the company veil.

 

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Four charged with conspiracy to supply class A drugs

Carli Newell

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FOUR people have been arrested and charged as part of an investigation into an organised crime gang supplying class A drugs from London to Aberystwyth, Llanelli and Swansea.

Dyfed-Powys Police, with support from The Met Police, carried out warrants at four addresses on July 21, resulting in four arrests.

Mohammed Osman, aged 23, Yonis Mohammed, aged 20, Salman Mohamoud, aged 23 – all from Islington – and Amy Simmons, aged 21, from Dulwich were charged with a total of 12 offences:

  • Mohammed Osman: Two counts of conspiring to supply class A drug heroin, and two counts of conspiring to supply class A drug crack cocaine,
  • Yonis Mohammed: Two counts of conspiring to supply class A drug heroin, and two counts of conspiring to supply class A drug crack cocaine.
  • Salman Mohamoud: Conspiring to supply class A drug heroin, and conspiring to supply class A drug crack cocaine
  • Amy Simmons: Conspiring to supply class A drug heroin, and conspiring to supply class A drug crack cocaine.

All four appeared at Llanelli Magistrates’ Court on Friday, July 23, where they were remanded in custody. They are due to appear at Swansea Crown Court for their next hearing on August 20.

The investigation is being carried out by the Ceredigion Serious and Organised Crime Team, Aberystwyth CID and the Operation Orochi command of the Met Police.

Detective Sergeant Steve Jones said: “These four arrests and charges are the result of a coordinated approach to target an organised crime gang we believe is running a county lines operation into the Dyfed-Powys Police force area.

“We will continue to work diligently to disrupt gangs of this kind, to prevent the supply of illegal substances into our community.

“I would like to thank all officers involved, as well as the Met Police for their part in the operation.”

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New children’s play area in Bryn as part of new council housing development

Carli Newell

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A NEW children’s play area has opened in time for the summer holidays in Bryn, Llanelli as part of a new £5.9million council housing development.

Carmarthenshire County Council is building 32 new homes on land close to the Dylan housing estate in Bryn.

The scheme will be made up of 22 two-bedroom homes, four two-bedroom bungalows and six four-bedroom homes and is part of the council’s ongoing drive to deliver more affordable homes across the county. It has been part funded through the Welsh Government’s Affordable Housing Grant.

The development also includes a new children’s play area, funded by the council in partnership with Llanelli Rural Council, which will take over the running and maintenance of the play area on completion.

Executive Board Member for Housing Cllr Linda Evans said: “I am delighted the park has been completed in time for the summer holidays for the local children to enjoy.

“We are committed to delivering more affordable housing across Carmarthenshire and this development will benefit dozens of families in Llanelli, as well as proving much needed facilities for the local community.

“I would like to thank the rural council for collaborating with this us on this and I hope the children are thrilled with it.”

Before designing the play area, the rural council liaised with local schoolchildren to find out what play equipment they wanted at their new park.

Llanelli Rural Council Chairman Cllr Tegwen Devichand said: “The council is delighted to be working in partnership with Carmarthenshire County Council to provide this wonderful new play area for the community.

“The opening of the play area couldn’t have been better timed to coincide with the school holidays. I hope the local children will enjoy the range of challenging play equipment on offer and that they have lots of fun using it over the summer.”

The housing development is due to be completed by the beginning of 2022.

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Burry Port Harbour lighthouse overhaul tops council’s £2million investment

Carli Newell

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A £2MILLION investment in Burry Port Harbour is nearing completion, topped off with the iconic lighthouse getting a fresh lick of paint.

Carmarthenshire County Council is behind a range of improvements to maintain and restore the historic harbour which is one of the county’s most loved and well visited beauty spots.

Restoration of the Grade II listed harbour walls, undertaken under the guidance of CADW, will conclude within the next few weeks.

The council has also been working alongside The Marine Group, which operates the harbour, to improve mooring facilities. They are working closely with fishermen to bid for funding for new commercial pontoon infrastructure.

It will add to investment made over previous years which saw the council spend almost £1.5million on new pontoons, and over £300,000 in maintaining the harbour railings and bridge.

A local operator has agreed a lease for a cafe and public toilets on east side of Harbour, and the refurbishment of the old RNLI harbour office has recently started by The Marine Group (TMG) to create a harbour-side coffee house.

TMG has also invested in a state-of-the-art dredger which arrived at the harbour last autumn. Dredging is well underway and will continue until targeted depths are reached.

Boat lifting equipment and new fuelling points are also planned.

The council has introduced community safety officers to patrol the harbour assisting tourists and local people during the summer months, especially to advise around Covid regulations, as part of a tourism hotspot plan to take care of issues such as parking, litter, street cleansing, enforcement and signage.

Temporary car parking surfacing has also been laid on the east side along with new pay and display facilities ahead of a wider multi-million regeneration plan that will transform the harbour with a mix of housing, commercial and leisure space covering around 13 acres of prime development site.

Cllr Peter Hughes Griffiths, Executive Board Member for Culture, Sport and Tourism, said: “We are proud of our continued investment in Burry Port Harbour. We are spending millions restoring and maintaining historic features that are much-loved by local people and visitors who come from far and wide to enjoy what the harbour has to offer.

“We continue to work closely alongside The Marine Group and Pembrey and Burry Port Town Council to plan and prioritise works and ongoing maintenance. We are as keen as everyone else to ensure it is well-maintained and continues to be a place people can enjoy.

“We appreciate that there has been some upheaval during these improvement works but we ask people to understand that our investment will make Burry Port Harbour an even better place for the future.”

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