Britain’s “most wanted” tax criminals collectively cost the taxpayer over £765m. The list includes tax evaders who have absconded after being charged with a crime or during trial.
To help in the effort to hunt down the UK’s biggest tax fraudsters, HMRC has posted their photographs on its flickr channel and has urged the members of the public to assist it in finding them.
On the list is a 30-year-old Indian, Sahil Jain. Jain was arrested in connection with VAT fraud of about £328,000. He failed to appear at the Central Criminal Court and a warrant was issued for his arrest on June 8, 2012.
According to HMRC, Jain whose cost to the tax payer is estimated at almost £330,000 is still believed to be in the UK.
The list also includes 33-year old Zafar Baidar Chisthi who is believed to be in Pakistan now who owes the UK taxpayer an estimated £150m.
Chisthi is wanted for his role in a large scale VAT fraud worth around £150m. He failed to appear in court after being released on bail and was tried in absence and found guilty. He was sentenced to 11 years imprisonment for conspiracy to defraud the public purse and one year for perverting the course of justice.
Other million pounds tax evaders on the list are two UK Pakistanis -- Nasser Ahmed who is wanted for his role in a large scale VAT fraud in the region of £156m and Hussain Asad Chohan who is wanted after failing to appear in court for his part in an estimated £200m fraud.
“The Government is absolutely committed to tackling tax evasion and fraud,” said David Gauke, the Exchequer Secretary. “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.”
Tax evasion and fraud cost the British taxpayer around £10bn. The government has invested more than £900m in HMRC in order to raise an additional £7bn each year in tax revenue.
Although the HMRC has worked with Crimestoppers to gather information from the public that may help capture these tax criminals, this is the first time it has published photographs and details of tax dodgers’ crimes, it has said.
HMRC’s top 20 most wanted tax fugitives can be seen here www.flickr.com/hmrcgovuk.