Chaudhary Ali, aged 50, of West London has been jailed for 9 years after being convicted of evading £7 million VAT for smuggling gold into the UK.
The gold was sourced in Dubai and Ali would send two couriers to Dubai, to purchase the gold and would arrange to meet them in Frankfurt. Ali would then swap cases with the couriers and carry the gold into the UK. Goods traded between EU countries are not subject to VAT and as such Ali made it appear that the gold was sourced from Frankfurt. Ali would pass through the EU entry channel at UK arrivals and carry paperwork with him stating that he was a legitimate VAT registered jeweler in the event that he would be stopped by customs.
An international HMRC investigation unravelled Chauhary Ali’s scam and he was subsequently convicted at Kingston Crown Court after being found guilty of of cheating the Public Revenue contrary to Common Law.
Andrew Sackey, Assistant Director, Criminal Investigation for HMRC, said:“Chaudry Ali was a 24-carat criminal. He systematically evaded millions of pounds of VAT in the hope of lining his pockets. Our officers worked tirelessly to catch him, and today’s sentence is the result of that hard work.”
HMRC are now considering taking confiscation action.