By Claire Valdini
New list shows two gangs used Dubai to smuggle gold and cigarettes to UK
A gallery of Britain’s top tax criminals of 2012, including two gangs that smuggled gold and cigarettes via Dubai, has been published online for the first time by HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC).
The list of 32 criminals includes the names of seven British men who smuggled more than 20m cigarettes into the UK from Dubai and a London-based jeweler who evaded over GBP£7m (US$11.2m) in VAT payments after bootlegging gold into the country via the emirate.
The gallery is part of a GBP£1bn crackdown on tax evasion. New legislation, introduced in 2010, allows HMRC to publish the details of people or companies caught deliberately evading more than GBP£25,000.
“Most people play by the rules and pay what they owe, but HMRC is cracking down on those who don’t,” David Gauke, Exchequer Secretary to the Treasury, said in a statement.
“We hope that 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,” he added.
Among the named and shamed is 50-year old Chaudray Ali, who was sentenced to nine years in jail after an investigation revealed he regularly sent two couriers to Dubai to collect large amounts of jewellery from vendors.
After purchasing the jewellery, the couriers would fly to Frankfurt and meet Ali to swap cases in the airport lounge.
Others on the list include seven men – Paul O’Meara, Robert Doran, Patrick Gray, Martin Cleland, Mark Sadgrove, Wayne Stock and Matthew Neale – who were sentenced to 24-and-a-half years in jail for their part in the illicit trade of cigarettes.
The men were arrested and sentenced following an investigation in which over 10m illicit cigarettes, smuggled into the UK from Dubai, were found at a warehouse in London. The total duty evaded is estimated at GBP£3.3m.
HMRC in July said that three of Britain’s 20 most wanted tax fugitives are thought to be living in Dubai.