The Mountain of Fire and Miracles ordered to pay £98k for illegal church in Barking
PUBLISHED: 12:00 27 February 2019
A Pentecostal church which operated illegally in Barking has been ordered to pay back every penny it made during its time in the borough.
The Mountain of Fire and Miracles (MFM) church operated at Movements House, Ajax Works in Hertford Road, without planning permission and were ordered by Barking and Dagenham Council to close in 2012.
The Enfield-based church, which was founded by Dr. Daniel Kolawole Olukoya, must now pay back £91,264 – the amount it gained from operating at the venue as a place of worship.
The sum must be paid within three months.
The landlord of the property Milap Singh Padda, 74, of Barleycorn Way, Hornchurch, was also ordered to pay back £104,986 – the rent he made from MFM and other churches he rented the premises to.
If he fails to pay the sum he will be jailed for nine months.
Both Padda and MFM were also fined £4,000, ordered to pay costs of £3,507 and a £170 victim surcharge each.
A confiscation hearing was held at Snaresbrook Crown Court last week under The Proceeds of Crime Act 2002.
Councillor Margaret Mullane, cabinet member for enforcement and community safety, welcomed the judgement and praised the persistence of the council officers in securing this outcome.
Cllr Mullane said: “This is a culmination of six years 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.”