A man convicted in the UK of a £156 million ($267 million) tax scam, and who subsequently went on the run for nine years, claims he is stranded in Dubai as he does not have valid paperwork to travel back to the UK to serve his prison sentence.
Nasser Ahmed, who is believed to be in Dubai, fled the UK and boarded a flight for the Middle East just before a jury convicted him of defrauding HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC), according to a report in the Daily Mail.
The 41-year-old was sentenced to six years in jail and now claims he wants to return to the UK to serve his prison term. However, he claimed he has been unable to get authorities to pick him up, despite contacting the courts, British Embassy, Foreign Office and the HMRC 'Most Wanted' hotline.
He doesn’t hold a current passport and therefore has been unable to return to the UK under his own steam, the report said.
HMRC told the Daily Mail that they have not been given clear guidance of his location, saying his family told them he was in Pakistan, not the Middle East as he claims.
Believed to be speaking from Dubai, Ahmed was quoted as saying: “I fled court because there were certain liabilities or commitments which would have put me in future problems. I was 32 when it all happened and I took the decision to leave, but in time one realises life on the run isn't as glamorous as it may seem.
“I want to fight now to show the businesses targeted were totally legitimate. I would imagine I’m facing 12 to 18 months extra in prison at least. But that is the way it is. I’m happy to do that and I will be appealing - if I ever get there.”
His scam centred around the illegal sale of computer chips which he bought in massive quantities from a company in Luxembourg - paying no VAT between 2001 and 2005.