Global hunt launched for 'wanted' Stoke-on-Trent brothers
AN INTERNATIONAL manhunt is today underway to catch two Stoke-on-Trent brothers wanted for questioning over a £250 million VAT fraud.
International arrest warrants have been issued for Javed Mohammed, aged 43, and 40-year-old Mohammed Javed.
HM Revenue and Customs today listed the brothers as 'wanted' men.
They want to question them on suspicion of conspiracy to cheat and money laundering offences as part of a 10-year fraud investigation.
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It is understood the brothers – who have links with Pakistan – are no longer in the Potteries. They were last seen in Dubai.
Andrew Sackey, Assistant Director of Criminal Investigation for HM Revenue and Customs, said: "We are launching this wanted appeal for the other suspects, who face charges of conspiracy to cheat and money laundering and hope anyone with information will come forward."
Customs officers have been investigating one of the UK's largest ever VAT 'missing trader' frauds since 2003.
Sixteen criminals have already been jailed for their roles in the £250 million VAT conspiracy.
It involved phones being exported to Europe and then back to the UK, VAT free. Mr Sackey added: "This has been a complex and lengthy investigation to unravel a multi-million pound fraud by an organised crime gang that stole directly from UK finances and the British taxpayer. Missing trader fraud is not merely a paper fraud, it funds other serious crime and we are determined to pursue and bring to justice the criminals behind this type of scheme."
Two North Staffordshire fraudsters are among the 16 criminals already jailed for their part in the fraud.
Jo-Anne Halliday, of The Wood, Weston Coyney, was jailed for two years and 10 months in 2011.
Marcus Hughes, formerly of Millers View, Cheadle, was handed a six-year prison sentence in April, 2008.
He was already serving a 12-year prison sentence for drug smuggling at the time of his conviction.
Anyone with information about Mr Javed and Mr Mohammed should call the Customs Hotline on 0800 59 5000.