Four men including a father and son have been convicted by a UK court of carousel VAT fraud and money laundering in the EU carbon market, police said Monday, adding to the growing list of people being jailed for their part in a crime that authorities estimate to have cost European taxpayers more than €5 billion between 2007 and 2011.
Narinder Chada, 61 from Meopham in Kent, and Gurmail Dosanjh, 46 from Gravesend, Kent, were last Thursday found guilty at Southwark Crown Court of conspiring to cheat the public purse of £11.7 million following a two-month trial.
The men were charged with setting up companies to buy and sell carbon credits at market rates and then selling them on for a cheaper price and pocketing the VAT.
Daniel Andrew Barrs, 65 from Lingfield in Surrey, and son Daniel Barrs, 29 from nearby Horley, were convicted of facilitating money laundering in this case and a previous one dealt with by HMRC in 2012 – laundering more than £20 million in total.
The four men will be sentenced on April 20.
Authorities in Kent and Essex commenced an investigation in May 2011 after receiving info from HMRC. They said the offences were committed in 2009, with the first arrests made in April 2012.
“We followed the trail of laundered cash from the UK to Europe, the Middle East and as far as New Zealand and Australia,” said detective constable Phil Kershaw from the Kent and Essex Serious Crime Directorate.
“Barrs and Barrs facilitated the money laundering by setting up three offshore corporate structures and provided money laundering platforms within overseas bank accounts. This was a very organised operation but we were determined to piece together enough evidence to bring those responsible to justice.”
He added that authorities will attempt to recoup as much of the money as possible following the men’s sentencing.
By Mike Szabo – firstname.lastname@example.org