HMRC issues list of ‘tax dodgers’
Thursday 16th August 2012, 12:10AM BST.
A most-wanted list of 20 alleged tax-dodgers has been issued, who are accused of fleeing the UK while owing the UK Government millions of pounds.
Names and pictures were published by Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC) for the first time as investigators appealed for the public’s help to find them.
The list includes Hussain Chohan, 44, who was convicted at Birmingham Crown Court for his role in a £200 million fraud, part of which involved importing 2.25 tonnes of tobacco worth £750,000 in duty.
Chohan, believed to be in Dubai, was given 11 years for smuggling and fraud offences and for failing to appear in court. He is also subject to a £33 million confiscation order.
Another person on the list is Wayne Joseph Hardy, 49, believed to be in South Africa. He was convicted at Ipswich Crown Court for manufacturing tobacco products and not paying duty and was given a three-year sentence in October 2011. The estimated cost to the taxpayer was £1.9 million.
Nasser Ahmed, 40, believed to be in Pakistan or Dubai, was sentenced to six years at Bristol Crown Court in 2005 for his part in VAT fraud worth around £156 million. He fled before verdicts were given and was convicted and sentenced in his absence.
Gordon Arthur, 60, believed to be in the United States, is suspected of illegally importing cigarettes and alcohol and failing to pay around £15 million in duty. He fled in 2000 and a warrant was issued for his arrest at Maidstone Crown Court in 2002.
Zafar Baidar Chisthi, 33, now believed to be in Pakistan, is wanted over another VAT fraud worth £150 million. He fled while on bail and was jailed for 11 years in his absence at Kingston Crown Court for conspiracy to defraud the public purse.
They are among 20 people whose pictures and details will be posted on HMRC’s Flickr page at www.flickr.com/hmrcgovuk at 9am on Thursday.
Exchequer Secretary David Gauke said: “These criminals have collectively cost the taxpayer over £765 million and HMRC will pursue them relentlessly. We hope that publishing their pictures in this way will enable members of the public to contribute to the effort to catch them.”