Britain’s most-wanted tax fraudster has been told he must pay back £5million from his share of a VAT swindle worth £176million – if police ever catch up with him.
Zafar Chishti was a financial director involved in a mobile phone sales scam that is one of Britain’s biggest-ever tax swindles.
But he vanished long before police came looking for him and now, as his accomplices languish in jail, he is thought to be living in luxury in Dubai.
Chishti and his associates claimed huge amounts of money from the government in a complex ‘missing trader’ scam involving the import
They falsely claimed to have traded in four million handsets – worth a staggering £1.7billion – then claimed the VAT on those transactions back from the government.
The gang created false paperwork relating to the alleged importation, sale and export of phones. The phones were purported to have been sold on in the UK, with VAT added on, through a chain of firms known as ‘buffers’.
Invoices were then created to pull off the fraud.
Chishti, who was jailed for 12 years in his absence, was told he must serve another seven if he fails to produce the £5million. But the reality is that police may never track him down.