London: Three of Britain`s 30 most wanted fraudsters and tax evaders are of Indian-origin who have cost commoners nearly 10 million pounds.
HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) published an updated gallery , 2013 Most Wanted, which includes Sumir Soni, Anish Anand and Sahil Jain. All three are in their 30s and have warrants issued in their name.
Soni, a British citizen from the Yorkshire region, is wanted in connection with evading duty of 3.6 million pounds from illegal sale and distribution of alcohol and importing nine million cigarettes illegally in 2007 and 2008. He failed to appear at Manchester Crown Court in January 2010 and is believed to be hiding in Kenya at present.
Anand, a non-resident Indian (NRI), failed to appear at Croydon Crown Court in April 2013 in relation to 6 million pounds VAT and film tax credit fraud. He was sentenced to seven years in jail in July 2013. According to HMRC records, he was director of a number of companies involved in fraud and is believed to be somewhere in the UK at present.
Jain, also an Indian citizen, is believed to be in Britain since his arrest warrant was issued in June 8, 2012 in connection with VAT fraud of about 328,000 pounds. He failed to appear at the Central Criminal Court at the Old Bailey in London in June 8, 2012.
The HMRC`s most wanted list was first released last year and resulted in leads in a number of cases. The gallery was viewed over 1.5 million times with new intelligence received from the public on the current whereabouts of 17 of the 20 named on the original list.
This year, the department has also launched an interactive map showing where the tax fugitives are believed to be hiding.
"Our message is clear; tax fraud and evasion is illegal and absolutely unacceptable. The government has invested hundreds of millions of pounds in HMRC`s enforcement activities to enable them to pursue tax cheats like these relentlessly. We hope that the publication of HMRC`s Most Wanted will help get them caught and ensure they are brought to justice," said UK Chancellor George Osborne.
However, opposition Labour party`s Catherine McKinnell said it was a "huge failure" that one year on, so many on the most-wanted list had still not been caught.
"At a time when families are facing a cost-of-living crisis, it`s even more important that everyone pays their fair share of tax. The government needs to do better," she said.