HMRC publishes mugshots of 20 most wanted tax fugitives for first time
The names and faces of 20 most wanted “tax fugitives” who owe HM Revenue and Customs more than £700m are being published for the first time today.
By Christopher Hope, Senior Political Correspondent
7:00AM BST 16 Aug 2012
HMRC has decided to publish the FBI-style list of mugshots to try to enlist the support of the public in tracking them down.
The names on the Most Wanted list are described as “tax criminals who have absconded after being charged with a crime or during trial.”
It is the first time that HMRC has published photographs and details of tax fugitives.
David Gauke, the Exchequer Secretary, said: “The Government is absolutely committed to tackling tax evasion and fraud.
“These criminals have collectively cost the taxpayer over £765m and HMRC will pursue them relentlessly.
“We hope that publishing their pictures in this way will enable members of the public to contribute to the effort to catch them.”
The list includes Hussain Chohan, 44, who was convicted at Birmingham Crown Court for his role in a £200million fraud, part of which involved importing 2.25 tonnes of tobacco worth £750,000 in duty.
Chohan, believed to be in Dubai, was given 11 years for smuggling and fraud offences and for failing to appear in court. He is also subject to a £33million confiscation order.
Another person on the list is Wayne Joseph Hardy, 49, believed to be in South Africa. He was convicted at Ipswich Crown Court for manufacturing tobacco products and not paying duty and was given a three-year sentence in October 2011. The estimated cost to the taxpayer was £1.9 million.
The Government is committed to cracking down on those who try to dodge their responsibility to pay tax and has invested over £900m in HMRC in order to raise an additional £7bn each year in tax revenue.
The three are among 20 people whose pictures and details will be posted at 9am on HMRC’s Flickr page at http://www.flickr.com/hmrcgovuk.
Last month, Mr Gauke announced plans to force accountants to hand over the names of millionaires who use complex schemes to avoid paying their fair share of tax.
The names would not be routinely be made public – although they could be disclosed if the case went to a tax tribunal.
Here is the list of the 20 “most wanted” tax fugitives in full:
:: Hussain Asad Chohan, 44, believed to be in Dubai. He was convicted at Birmingham Crown Court in his absence and sentenced to 11 years for his part in fraud worth around £200 million, which included importing 2.25 tonnes of tobacco worth £750,000 in duty. Chohan has also been served with a £33 million confiscation order..