Carousel fraud gang jailed

by Calum Fuller

More from this author

11 Jul 2012

  • Comments
Dilawar Ravjani

A 15-STRONG GANG has been found guilty of an attempted £176m VAT fraud by engaging in complex mobile trading scams.

Ring leader Dilawar Ravjani received a 17-year stretch in prison for his part in the scheme, the longest sentence handed down in the UK for this type of fraud.

The gang claimed it sold four million mobile phones worth £1.7bn, despite failing to prove the existence of many of these, while about 250,000 were not yet launched in the UK.

In order to give the operation a veneer of legitimacy, more than 5,700 false business transactions were created in order to claim large amounts of VAT.

Future Communications – an enterprise set up by Ravjani – was part of a series of fake companies which claimed to export phones. At the same time, it also imported goods that allowed other traders, including sister company Unique Distribution, to seek substantial VAT reclaims.

Another of Ravjani's companies, Property and Management Services Ltd – run by his sister, Roshan Hussain – employed offshore banks, car sales businesses, a property investment company and a loans company in order to launder the proceeds.

The Revenue began investigating the operation in 2006, with the first arrests made within three weeks of the probe, scuppering the £176m fraud and preventing a further £109m of fabricated VAT payments.

During the arrests, officers seized about £170,000 in cash, including £47,000 which was found in carrier bags in the boot of a car owned by John McFarnon, a director of Unique Distribution.

Chris Martin, HMRC assistant director of criminal investigation, said: "Fraud on this scale causes immense damage to the tax revenues of the UK and the European Union.

"This was a complex and well-organised fraud which made a huge profit for the gang at the expense of UK taxpayers, but the dedication and techniques used by HMRC officers in this investigation resulted in the successful prosecution and convictions of these criminals. We will now seek to recover the proceeds of this crime."

Confiscation proceedings are now underway to recover any assets the gang members received as a result of this crime. The actual tax loss totalled £107m.

Visitor comments

blog comments powered by Disqus
display:none

Add your comment

We won't publish your address


By submitting a comment you agree to abide by our Terms & Conditions

Your comment will be moderated before publication

Submit
  • Send

conservatoire-for-dance-and-drama

Finance-Director-part-time

Conservatoire for Dance and Drama, London, Permanent, Part Time, £60,000 pro rata

 

 

Newsletters

Get the latest financial news sent directly to your inbox

  • Best Practice
  • Business
  • Daily Newsletter
  • Essentials

Careers

Search for jobs
Click to search our database of all the latest accountancy roles

Create a profile
Click to set up your profile and let the best recruiters find you

Jobs by email
Sign up to receive regular updates with the latest roles suitable for you

Briefings

budget-management

Why budgeting fails: One management system is not enough

If budgeting is to have any value at all, it needs a radical overhaul. In today's dynamic marketplace, budgeting can no longer serve as a company's only management system; it must integrate with and support dedicated strategy management systems, process improvement systems, and the like. In this paper, Professor Peter Horvath and Dr Ralf Sauter present what's wrong with the current approach to budgeting and how to fix it.

cchcover

iXBRL: Taking stock. Looking forward

In this white paper CCH provide checklists to help accountants and finance professionals both in practice and in business examine these issues and make plans. Also includes a case study of a large commercial organisation working through the first year of mandatory iXBRL filing.