Birmingham & Black Country

Sandwell councillor's son arrested over property sale fraud

The former HM Coroner's office in Crocketts Lane, Smethwick, pictured in August 2012 Image copyright Google
Image caption The former HM Coroner's office in Smethwick, West Midlands, was put up for sale in December 2012

The son of a senior councillor has been arrested on suspicion of fraud, as part of a probe into the sale of a Black Country authority's former properties, police have said.

Azeem Hafeez is the son of Sandwell Council's former deputy leader Mahboob Hussain.

The sale of the old HM Coroner's office in Smethwick, West Midlands, in 2012 is being investigated by police.

Mr Hafeez has been released on bail, police said.

A West Midlands Police spokesman said: "A 30-year-old was arrested on 1 April in connection with an ongoing fraud investigation."

Labour-run Sandwell Council said it would co-operate with the police investigation when it began in October.

Melanie Dudley, assistant chief executive at the authority, said; "The internal investigation is continuing and we are helping the police with their ongoing investigations."

In October, Oldbury ward councillor Mr Hussain stood down as chairman of the council's asset management and land disposal committee.

At the time, the council said Mr Hussain's resignation was a neutral act which did not imply any wrongdoing.

In a personal statement, issued last year, Mr Hussain said: "I fully expect the audit service's investigation to clearly show I have followed all the proper rules and procedures."

He has also since resigned from the authority's ruling cabinet, along with former economy chief councillor, Ian Jones.

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