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Five jailed for £140m VAT scam

Nearly 40 years' chokey for revenue cheats

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Five men have been jailed for their roles in a huge missing-trader fraud which netted £140m.

The men were sentenced to 37 and a half years in prison in total.

HMRC said the five were motivated by pure greed. They were convicted of various counts of cheating the Revenue contrary to Common Law.

Andrew Hart (40) of Cricklewood, London, Mohammed Chaudhery (36) of Slough, Berkshire, Kevin Davis (46) of Kilburn, London, and Abdul Jabbar Butt (49) of Wembley, Middlesex set up their own limited companies, most of which traded for five weeks or less.

A fifth man, Tariq Sarwar, of Ryecroft Street, Gloucester acted as organiser. He pleaded guilty to five counts of cheating the Revenue and was sentenced to nine years in prison.

They imported mobile phones and computer chips VAT-free from other EU countries, then sold them on, with VAT added to UK customers. Each company owed the Revenue between £26.5m and £39.1m when it shut.

The money was never paid to the Rev but was laundered through various offshore firms.

The investigation began in October 2005 when Mohammed Chaudery was arrested. Information on his computer provided links to the other gang members and their companies.

The gang members got a flat fee of up to £30,000 for their work. HMRC is also seeking forfeiture of assets.

Click through to the next page for complete details of the fraudsters, and their companies, from HMRC. ®

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