Smuggler’s gold to be sold
Crown seized gang leader’s assets
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