List of most wanted tax dodgers published

A MOST-WANTED list of 20 multi-million pound tax-dodgers has been released by HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC).

HMRC hopes publishing the names and pictures will help investigators find fraudsters estimated to have cost the taxpayer a total of £765m.

The list includes Malcolm McGowan, 60, who was initially tried in connection with illegally importing cigarettes worth around £16m in 2001 but
who skipped bail before its conclusion.

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McGowan, originally from Scotland, was arrested in South Yorkshire and charged with a group of fellow fraudsters who included Rossano Rossi, a former ice cream salesman from Barnsley who had previously won nearly £2m on the National Lottery.

Though still on the run, McGowan was found guilty and sentenced, in his absence, to four years in prison in December last year at Sheffield Crown Court. He is now believed to be in
Spain where he was actually detained in December last year
but disappeared again when he was granted bail by Spanish Police.

Others on the list include Hussain Chohan, 44, convicted at Birmingham Crown Court for his role in a £200m fraud. Chohan, believed to be in Dubai, was given 11 years for smuggling and fraud offences and for failing to appear in court.

Another wanted man is Wayne Joseph Hardy, 49, believed to
be in South Africa. He was
given a three-year sentence at Ipswich Crown Court in 2011 for manufacturing tobacco products and not paying duty. The estimated cost to the taxpayer was
£1.9m.

Nasser Ahmed, 40, believed to be in Pakistan or Dubai, was sentenced to six years at Bristol Crown Court in 2005 for his part in VAT fraud worth around £156m. He fled before verdicts were given and was convicted and sentenced in his absence.

Exchequer Secretary David Gauke said: “These criminals have collectively cost the taxpayer over £765m and HMRC will pursue them relentlessly.”