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Payback time continues for West Midlands VAT fraudsters

Press release -

Payback time continues for West Midlands VAT fraudsters

Two members of a gang, previously jailed for their part in a plot to steal £17 million in a “missing trader” VAT fraud, will have to pay back nearly £2.3 million or face further time in jail.

The multi-million pound fraud centred on the mobile phone industry and was uncovered by criminal investigators after a five year operation by HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC). Investigations stopped a further repayment claim of £5 million being made by the gang. Paperwork found during house searches showed that the gang planned to steal an additional £300 million of VAT. Dave Cowie, Assistant Director of Criminal Investigation for HMRC, said:

“This gang stole vast amounts of money to fund a life of luxury they neither earned nor deserved. We are determined they do not leave jail to enjoy that lifestyle again and have restrained a number of high value assets. There are several properties in the UK, Florida, Spain worth over £1 million each, and proceeds from the sale of high performance cars, including a £250,000 Rolls Royce Phantom and a £165,000 Ferrari.

“HMRC works tirelessly to identify and recover profits from crime. If these criminals do not pay up, they will serve extra time in jail, and still owe the money when they are released.”

The conspiracy involved the import of mobile phone accessories and electronic media, including memory and SIM cards, from the EU. Once imported, the goods would be sold on a number of times along a contrived supply chain before being exported back to the EU. The exporter would then claim a VAT credit from HMRC for the VAT paid on the purchase of the goods.

The HMRC operation involved investigations in China, Taiwan, India, Italy, Denmark, Germany and Belgium. HMRC investigators worked with overseas officials to follow the trail of money.

Notes for editors

1. Photographs of the defendants are available on request or from HMRC’s Flickr site -

2. Details of the defendants’ previous roles and sentencing is at and of successful Confiscation Orders at

3. Details of the Confiscation Orders secured today, 15 March 2013, at Southwark Crown Court:

  • Ardip Singh Hayre (DOB 23.06.83) of Lovelace Avenue, Solihull, West Midlands, was ordered to repay £2.2 million within six months or be recalled to prison to serve an additional seven years. Hayre was a principal player in the fraud. He was a Director of Goldfree Ltd of Birmingham, the exporter within this fraud.
  • Mandish Singh Hayre (DOB 07.04.55) of Lovelace Avenue, Solihull, West Midlands, was ordered to repay £172,000 million within six months or serve an additional two and a half years. Hayre laundered more than £600,000 of criminal proceeds through bank accounts in the UK and abroad. He is the father of Ardip Singh Hayre, one of the principal fraudsters.

4. Confiscation proceedings continue against one other defendant.

5. Follow HMRC on Twitter @HMRCgovuk



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.

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