Gurbax Singh of Hillingdon, Middlesex, used his alcohol wholesale businesses, Phoenix Wholesale Trading Ltd (PWT Ltd), in Ilford and UKK Wines Ltd in Romford, to trade in non-UK duty paid alcohol. His accomplice, James Meekings, from Essex, acted as a cash courier to clean up the ‘dirty’ money.
David Margree, Assistant Director, Fraud Investigation Service, HMRC said:
“Singh and Meekings received substantial amounts of cash which they knew were the profits from crime. They had no regard that they were stealing from the taxpayer and depriving the nation’s finances of money needed to fund public services.”
Singh was arrested in June 2014 after HMRC officers observed him leaving a cash and carry in Croydon. He was carrying a box and a black bag, which were found to contain £16,000 in cash. Officers also found £50,000 cash hidden in the spare tyre compartment in the boot of his vehicle. A further £100,000 cash was found, during a search of his home address, hidden in a wardrobe and sealed in carrier bags.
Meekings was also arrested in June 2014, after officers observed him leaving UKK Wines Ltd with a black holdall. The bag contained almost £50,000 in cash. Officers also found £4,165 in the glove box of his car and a further £4,800 hidden in a plastic container of ‘protein powder’ at his home address.
Both men were found guilty on 26 April 2016 after a trial at Snaresbrook Crown Court and sentenced yesterday (24 May 2016) at the same court.