VAT Fraudster Ordered to Pay £5.6m

A 32-year old Manchester VAT fraudster who traded in mobile phones has been ordered to pay £5.6 million or face another seven years in jail.
Amer Razwan Munir of 3, Rappax Road, Hale Barns, was convicted of Cheating the Revenue and money laundering offences in 2006 and jailed for seven years. He was also disqualified from holding a post of Director or Company Secretary for a period of nine years.

Following on from his conviction in December, Munir was today issued with a confiscation order totalling £5,600,483 which he must pay within 12 months or a further seven years will be added to his jail sentence.

In passing the confiscation order at Manchester Crown Court today, HH Judge Gee said:

"Those who commit serious frauds especially against the taxpayer can expect, when convicted, to be sentenced to a lengthy term of imprisonment. They will also be stripped of any assets that can be identified." The judge had noted in his summing up that Munir had attempted to conceal his full assets.

The HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) investigation involved enquiries across several EU countries to establish the true nature of Munir’s operation. It became clear that he had purchased the mobile phones VAT free and then sold them on but reclaimed the sum of £6.8 million. The asset recovery investigation and case work involved the Revenue and Customs Prosecutions Office (RCPO) working alongside HMRC officers to trace Munir’s numerous properties and illicit business transactions.

Peter Hollier, HMRC Assistant Chief Investigation Officer commented:

"Tackling this type of crime is HMRC’s top fraud priority. It is a deliberate attack on the VAT system and the theft of huge sums of taxpayers’ money has a direct effect on the Government funds that are available to spend on essential public services. Our aim is to make life easier for the vast majority of honest, compliant businesses whilst taking the strongest measures against those found to be abusing the system. This case is a further example of HMRC’s determination to bring to justice the criminals involved in this type of fraud and also vigorously pursue the recovery of their illicitly derived assets with the assistance of colleagues in RCPO. This confiscation order today brings this case to a successful conclusion after the earlier prison sentence of seven years it now strips out the criminal assets and shows how determined we are to ensure that crime doesn’t pay."

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