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London borough nets £33k after confiscation order imposed on church

Barking and Dagenham Council has received more than £33,000 from a church which operated from premises for three years in breach of a planning enforcement notice.

The church, Mountain of Fire and Miracles International, was given a confiscation order of £91,264 at a hearing at Snaresbrook Crown Court earlier this year.

Barking and Dagenham said this was the income the church had received after using the venue as a place of worship. The local authority receives 37.5% of the confiscation order.

The church was also fined £4,000 and ordered to pay costs of £3,507 (plus a £170 victim surcharge).

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The landlord of the property, Milap Singh Padda, 74, of Barleycorn Way, Hornchurch, RM11 3JJ, meanwhile received a confiscation order of £104,986, comprising the rental income he had received from Mountain of Fire and Miracles International, and other churches he allowed to use the building. He was also fined £4,000 plus costs of £3,507 (and a £170 victim surcharge). His order has yet to be paid.

Barking and Dagenham said it would use the funds from the confiscation orders for initiatives to reduce crime and to recover assets.

Cllr Margaret Mullane, Cabinet Member for Enforcement and Community Safety, at Barking and Dagenham Council, said: “This is a culmination of six year’s work and a lot of effort on the part of our officers. The message from us is loud and clear – if you choose not to play by the rules, we will use all the powers available to us to find you, investigate you and where we find against you - we will prosecute and take back the money.”

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