A British man that had been sought by authorities for several years has been sentenced by a German court to three years and three months in jail for tax evasion linked to the EU carbon market, according to sources.
Mohsin Usmangani Salya, who had been hunted by German authorities over his suspected involvement in committing so-called carousel fraud through the EU ETS, was in Nov. 2016 convicted of “serious tax evasion”, an official with the Frankfurt prosecutors’ office told Carbon Pulse.
The official said Salya turned himself in to German authorities last year, after which an international warrant that had been issued for his arrest was withdrawn.
No other details were publicly available as German law restricts authorities from publicly naming individuals accused or charged with crimes.
Salya’s surrender and conviction was confirmed to Carbon Pulse by one of his legal representatives.
German authorities last April reissued a public call for help in tracking down Salya and two other men suspected of being involved in a tax evasion and money laundering scheme linked to the EU ETS and valued at over €125 million.
Pakistani nationals Ashraf Muhammad and Mobeen Iqbal remain wanted by Germany’s Federal Criminal Police Office (BKA), according to the agency’s website, on suspicion that they “fraudulently” dealt EU carbon allowances between 2009 and 2010.
“Their whereabouts are believed to be outside of Germany (Dubai/UAE or Pakistan),” the BKA said.
International arrest warrants were first issued for the three men in 2014.
Authorities may have linked the trio to other British men recently arrested or charged by European authorities over their role in VAT fraud in the EU ETS, which experts estimate has cost governments as much as €7 billion in lost revenues.
A German court last year found seven Deutsche Bank employees guilty of facilitating €220 million in tax fraud through the EU ETS, with one former banker sentenced to jail.
According to the BKA, at least a dozen individuals have been sentenced by German courts to jail terms of up to 10 years for their part in the widespread fraud, which plagued the European carbon market for several years before governments tightened up tax laws.