Smug­gler’s gold to be sold

Crown seized gang leader’s as­sets

Harefield Gazette - - NEWS - By Nathan Spen­de­low nathan.spen­de­low@trin­i­tymir­

HILLING­DON gold smug­gler Chaudry Ali is to have part of his il­le­gal loot sold off at auc­tion this week.

Ali, 62, of Coop­er­field Av­enue, Hilling­don, was the leader of a crim­i­nal gang which plot­ted to smug­gle £9mil­lion worth of gold into the coun­try.

He was caught af­ter an in­ves­ti­ga­tion by HM Rev­enue and Cus­toms (HMRC) and jailed for nine years in 2012.

In Novem­ber 2014 Ali was or­dered to re­pay £4.3 mil­lion of his crim­i­nal prof­its or serve an ex­tra 10 years be­hind bars.

Al­most 150 ki­los of the seized gold, worth more than £2.5mil­lion, will be sold by Wil­sons Auc­tions in a se­ries of live and on­line auc­tions on Fri­day and over the com­ing weeks.

Kevin Newe, as­sis­tant di­rec­tor of the Fraud In­ves­ti­ga­tion Ser­vice, HMRC, said: “Our work doesn’t stop when a crim­i­nal is sen­tenced.

“We al­ways look to re­claim their il­le­gal prof­its for the na­tion’s fi­nances to fund the pub­lic ser­vices used by ev­ery­one.

“By auc­tion­ing the gold we seized dur­ing the in­ves­ti­ga­tion we are mov­ing an­other step closer to bring­ing this long and com­pli­cated case to a con­clu­sion and en­sure jus­tice is fully served.”

Ac­cord­ing to HMRC, Ali re­cruited two couri­ers who would fly to Dubai, via Frank­furt, to col­lect large amounts of gold jew­ellery.

The couri­ers would leave the UK in the af­ter­noon, ar­riv­ing in Dubai early the next morn­ing. They would col­lect the gold then fly to Frank­furt where they would meet Ali in an air­side lounge and swap bags.

Both Ali and his courier would take sep­a­rate flights back to the UK, pass­ing through the EU en­try chan­nel at UK ar­rivals.

In case he was stopped by of­fi­cers, Ali car­ried forged pa­per­work which claimed he was a le­git­i­mate VAT-reg­is­tered gold trader who had trav­elled to Europe with the gold in his bag.

“As he hadn’t left the EU then no duty would be payable on the gold.

With guide prices rang­ing from £200 to £5,000 per lot, cat­a­logue en­tries in­clude Asian gold bracelets, neck­laces, rings, a statue and gold bars. Two on­line auc­tions have al­ready taken place and so far raised al­most £700,000 for the pub­lic cof­fers.

Ai­dan Larkin, As­set Re­cov­ery Depart­ment Man­ager for Wil­sons Auc­tions Ltd, added: “We are de­lighted to be en­trusted with the sale of the gold on HMRC’s be­half af­ter such a suc­cess­ful in­ves­ti­ga­tion and play­ing our part in re­al­is­ing the as­sets so money can go back into the pub­lic purse.”

Ac­cord­ing to HMRC, fur­ther ac­tion to re­cover the pro­ceeds of the crime is be­ing taken by sell­ing prop­er­ties and land worth nearly £2 mil­lion owned by Ali in Birm­ing­ham and Lon­don.

n GANGLEADER: Chaudry Ali is in jail for smug­gling gold

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