HMRC sentences top tax criminals including men of Asian origin

India News Bulletin Desk

HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) has sentenced top tax criminals of 2012 including garlic smuggler Murugasan Natarajan, gold smuggler Chaudray Ali, and a criminal gang involving Sandeep Singh Dosanjh, Navdeep Singh Gill and Ranjot Singh Chahal for tax fraud.

HMRC 2012 tax criminals
Image: Wikimedia Commons

The UK tax authority named and shamed 32 of the UK’s top tax cheats by publishing their photos and tax evasion details on photo-sharing website Flickr as part of its Tax Evasion campaign. Collectively, the criminals face a combined sentence of 155 years and 10 months.

“Most people play by the rules and pay what they owe, but HMRC is cracking down on those who don’t,” said David Gauke, exchequer secretary to the Treasury.

Among the criminals is 57-year-old Natarajan who owned the London-based company Perfect Imports & Exports. According to HMRC, Natarajan evaded £2m in customs duty while importing Chinese garlic and faces a six-year sentence.

During a search of Natarajan’s property, almost £150,000 in cash was seized under the proceeds of crime act.

“The penalty imposed on Natarajan is the longest sentence in the UK in recent years for the evasion of customs duty,” said Peter Millroy, assistant director of HMRC Criminal Investigation. “Over 100 containers were identified where there were strong grounds to believe that the contents had either been understated or wrongly described. These rules are designed to protect legitimate businesses from unfair competition.”

Natarajan’s assistant, 28-year-old Lakshmi Suresh also pleaded guilty to her role in the fraud and was sentenced to a term of 12 months imprisonment.

Another tax evader was Ali, a jeweller who evaded more than £7m VAT by smuggling gold into the UK. Ali has been jailed for nine years after HMRC investigation showed that the gold was bought in Dubai and brought into the country via Frankfurt to avoid VAT payments over a two-year period.

In addition, a criminal gang who carried out a £38m VAT fraud through a complex chain of fraudulent trades has been jailed for 35 years.

The gang set up a chain of bogus companies to trade fraudulently in EU emissions allowances – known as carbon credits. In the first case of its kind, the gang stole around £38m through a complex trader fraud.

Pictures and details of HMRC’s top tax criminals of 2012 can be found here.   

“Publishing these pictures will help get across that it always makes sense to declare all your income, and tax dodgers are simply storing up trouble for the future,” said Gauke.
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