Two London-based brothers, who evaded £3.6 million in tax by distributing alcohol smuggled into the UK, have been jailed for a total of more than 12 years.
Siblings Tayfun Donger, 32 and Taylan Donger, 29, both of Edmonton, masterminded the scam but were caught red-handed unloading smuggled beer at a warehouse in Epping, Essex on 10 November 2016.
HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) officers arrested the men as they removed the alcohol from an HGV that had been brought into the UK from Belgium by Conor McCreesh, 26, from Northern Ireland.
The officers seized more than £4,000 in cash, the equivalent of 119,000 pints of beer, 6,000 bottles of wine and 830 bottles of spirits, along with the HGV, a forklift truck, pump trucks and two vans, which had been used to carry or handle non UK duty paid alcohol.
Investigations revealed that during a seven month period, they had distributed smuggled alcohol worth £3.6 million in unpaid duty and VAT into the UK.
Brett Wilkinson, Assistant Director, Fraud Investigation Service, HMRC, said:
“The Donger brothers thought they had developed the perfect scheme to illegally trade in illicit alcohol, diverting millions of pounds from public finances straight into their pockets, until HMRC officers stopped them in their tracks.
“These men were stealing from the taxpayer and undercutting legitimate traders. The money they evaded was the equivalent of the starting salary for 130 new nurses in London.
“We urge any member of the public who know of anyone committing this type of crime to report it to HMRC online or call our Fraud Hotline on 0800 788 887.”
Just days before the start of the trial, Taylan Donger attempted to flee to Turkey, but was arrested by HMRC officers on 20 September 2018 at Stansted Airport and remanded in custody.
The Dongers denied evading excise duty and VAT, but were found guilty by a jury at Chelmsford Crown Court on 24 October 2018. Tayfun Donger was given a six-and-a-half year sentence and Taylan six years on 1 November. McCreesh admitted his role in the fraud and possessing false documentation was given a 15-month jail sentence, suspended for two years and ordered to do 270 hours of unpaid work.
Notes for editors
- Tayfun Donger (DOB 28.09.86) of Ingleton Road, London, N18, was found guilty of Evasion of excise duty under the Customs and Excise Management Act 1979 and Evasion of VAT under the Value Added Tax Act. He was sentenced to six-and-a-half years in jail.
- Taylan Donger (DOB 28.06.89) of Ingleton Road, London, N18, was found guilty of Evasion of excise duty under the Customs and Excise Management Act 1979 and Evasion of VAT under the Value Added Tax Act 1994. He was sentenced to six years in jail.
- Conor McCresh (DOB 24.01.92) of Dobbin Hill Road, Armagh, Northern Ireland, pleaded guilty to the fraudulent evasion of excise duty and possession of an article for use in fraud, namely a false CMR document (international consignment note). He was sentenced to 15 months of jail, suspended for two years. He was ordered to do 270 hours unpaid work, pay costs of £1,000 and pay a £140 victim surcharge.
- The starting salary for a new nurse in London on Band 5 of the NHS Agenda for Change Pay Rates is £27,627.60. http://www.nhsemployers.org/your-workforce/pay-and-reward/agenda-for-change/pay-scales/including-hcas
- Photographs of the defendants are available on request
- Follow HMRC Press Office on Twitter @HMRCpressoffice
Issued by HM Revenue & Customs Press Office
HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) is the UK’s tax authority.
HMRC is responsible for making sure that the money is available to fund the UK’s public services and for helping families and individuals with targeted financial support.