July 19, 2016 7:02:52 pm
A self-styled Bollywood film producer of Indian origin accused of multi-million-pound tax fraud is on the UK’s most wanted list of fraudsters released on Tuesday.
Sandeep Arora from Beckton area of east London allegedly claimed 4.5 million pounds in value-added tax (VAT) and film tax rebates for movies that were either never made or with which he had no involvement.
The 42-year-old is now believed to be living in India and known in film circles there as Karan Arora.
His name was published as part of a new list drawn up by City of London Police and the National Crime Agency (NCA) as part of a new crackdown on fraud in the UK.
“The City of London Police has learnt that the key to combating fraud is government, law enforcement and business working together to bring criminals to justice and also design out the opportunities for them to commit crime in the first place,” said Ian Dyson, London police commissioner.
The list also includes 39-year-old Pakistani fraudster Faisal Butt, who was convicted in absentia in the UK for stealing hundreds of thousands of pounds from over 100 bank accounts and is believed to have fled to his native Pakistan.
Also on the list is 41-year-old Bayo Lawrence Anoworin, from Nigeria who is wanted by Lincolnshire police for an alleged scam by a gang that stole more than 12 million pounds from NHS trusts in the UK and Guernsey between January 2011 and July 2012.
The compilation of the list is the result of a new task-force, launched in February by then home secretary and now Prime Minister Theresa May in response to the growing problem of fraud and cyber-crime.
The Joint Fraud Taskforce brings together law enforcement agencies, the financial sector and the government.
“The annual losses to the UK from fraud are estimated to be more than 190 billion pounds. Behind this headline figure lie the actions of criminals like the wanted fraudsters highlighted in this appeal, who have caused distress and loss to people and businesses up and down the country,” said Donald Toon, director of the NCA’s economic crime command.
He added “Law enforcement cannot tackle this problem alone. It is only by working together, individuals, law enforcement, government and the private sector that we can protect the UK against fraud. It is important that anyone able to provide information on the 10 fraudsters we are highlighting today takes the opportunity to pass that information to law enforcement to help bring them to justice”.
The list was released in the lead up to the annual Crime Survey of England and Wales, which will be published on Thursday and expected to show that fraud is the most prevalent crime in the UK.
Preliminary figures released in October 2015 found that there had been 5. 1 million incidents of fraud in England and Wales in the previous year, affecting an estimated one in 12 adults and making it the most common form of crime.
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