Akbar’s Former Owner Adil Ditta and His Wife Noreen Riaz To Pocket Up £1Million

A respected Teesside businessman and well-known local cricketer could pocket up to £1m after he was wrongly accused of fraud – by a man now exposed as a convicted crook.

Akbar’s Former Owner Adil Ditta and His Wife Noreen Riaz To Pocket Up £1Million
Akbar’s Former Owner Adil Ditta and His Wife Noreen Riaz To Pocket Up £1Million

Former Akbar’s restaurant boss Adil Ditta, along with his wife Noreen Riaz, were accused of defrauding Lahore-based property developer Muhammed Asif out of over £1m.

The two men met in 2006 through Mr Asif’s cousin – businessman Mohammad Gohir – and their relationship soon “flourished”, investing in several Dubai properties.

In claims which spanned more than a decade, the couple were accused of swindling Mr Asif, initially over a joint land deal in Teesside and then secondly, concerning Mr Asif’s shares in a since-liquidated firm called Advance Systems Training Ltd.

The couple strongly denied the string of charges against them.

Now, after two years of delays and reporting restrictions, Teesside Live can report the private prosecution came “nowhere close” to proving Mr Ditta had committed fraud – with the businessman remaining without a mark against his name.

And it was real criminal – convicted fraudster Gohir – who was unmasked as the real mastermind behind proceedings, which were described in court as nothing more than a “rather heavy-handed business tactic” aimed at recouping

cash he believed to be owed.

Now Gohir – known as ‘Uncle Saff – is facing a huge legal bill which a Teesside law firm estimates could approach £1m.

“This has been a difficult two years for both my family and myself,” said Mr Ditta.

“We were very disappointed with those who assisted Mohammad Safdar Gohir in pursuing his dishonest abuse of the court’s process.”

A court heard Gohir had attempted to “pull the wool over the court’s eyes” by using his cousin as a “proxy prosecutor”.

“Safdar Gohir is an extremely wealthy man who tried to use his wealth to manipulate the court system,” added Mr Ditta.

“He will now be responsible for all legal costs, time and money wasted during the case.”

Court papers show that last November, Mr Ditta had sought costs in excess of £217k, while his partner was demanding over £140,00

Mr Ditta was a prominent local league cricketer around Teesside, playing for Saltburn and Middlesbrough.

A final bill has yet to be reached, although in her judgement, President of the Queen’s Bench Division of the High Court of Justice Dame Victoria Sharp warned: “The sums sought are very substantial indeed.”

She was tasked with overseeing the final stage of the lengthy case which started back in February 2019 at Southwick Crown Court when Judge David Tomlinson named Gohir as the real driving force behind the private prosecution.