Two men who failed to pay confiscation orders secured by HM Revenue & Customs have received extended jail terms of ten years each.
Syed Ahmed and Shakeel Ahmad were part of a ‘missing trader’ fraud, involving the dishonest manipulation of the VAT system through the import and export of computer processing units. The gang used highly complex chains of VAT registered companies both here and abroad to steal £37.5 million.
The men, who are both currently serving prison sentences of seven years, received the additional jail terms of ten years for failing to abide by the court order issued in July 2010. The order required them to repay criminal profits of £92.3 million each by the beginning of this month.
They were part of a 21-strong criminal gang who bought luxury properties, high performance cars, and built blocks of flats in Dubai with the proceeds derived from the fraud.
Richard Meadows, Assistant Director of Criminal Investigation for HMRC, said:
“This will send the strongest message yet to criminals that they cannot hide, even in prison, from our actions to reclaim their criminal profits. We are determined that this money will be restored to the nation’s finances in what is the largest confiscation order ever secured in the UK. Their prison sentences now total 34 years and they will still have to re-pay the outstanding confiscation order.”