Almost half of all Britain’s most wanted tax fugitives are cigarette smugglers
By Sunday Express reporter
ALMOST half of Britain’s most wanted tax fugitives are cigarette smugglers who have dodged duty running into hundreds of millions of pounds.
Figures from HM Revenue and Customs show eight of the top 20 tax avoiders were convicted of illegally importing cigarettes.
The figures have been seized upon by campaigners opposed to plain cigarette packets because it could fuel smuggling.
The list of tax targets includes Hussain Chohan, 44, who has joint British/Pakistani citizenship and is now said to be in Dubai. He failed to appear at Birmingham Crown Court for a £200million fraud in 2006.
Chohan was tried in his absence and given an 11-year sentence for smuggling 2.25tons of tobacco worth £750,000 in lost duty.
Gordon Arthur, 60, and Emma Tazey, 38, both British, were arrested for a £15million tax fraud. Customs officers seized seven million smuggled cigarettes in 1999.
Another 21 seizures of alcohol and tobacco have been attributed to Arthur, worth £5.5million in duty. They skipped court bail and are said to be in the US.