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Jeweller jailed for 9 years for smuggling gold

A jeweller has been jailed for nine years after evading more than £7 million in VAT smuggling gold.

The gold was purchased in Dubai and then brought to the UK via Frankfurt to avoid duty payments.

Chaudray Ali, of Copperfield Avenue, Hillingdon, London, had two couriers working for him who he sent individually to collect large amounts of gold jewellery from vendors in Dubai.

The couriers would then fly to Frankfurt and meet Ali in an airside lounge and they would swap cases with Ali taking the bag containing the gold jewellery.

Ali would then fly back to the UK, passing through the EU entry channel in arrivals.

He always carried paperwork stating that he was a legitimate VAT-registered jewellery trader in case he was stopped at customs.

Goods traded between EU countries are not subject to VAT, so by appearing to have sourced the gold in Frankfurt, it looked as though Ali would have no tax to pay.

Andrew Sackey, assistant director of criminal investigation for HM Revenue & Customs, described Ali as a “24-carat criminal”.

“He systematically evaded millions of pounds of VAT in the hope of lining his pockets. Our officers worked tirelessly to catch him and today’s sentence is the result of that hard work,” he added.

Ali denied involvement in the scam, but was found guilty after a trial at Kingston Crown Court.

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