R v Waqas ASLAM & 14 Ors [Operation Banjax] 2019 – Southwark Crown Court
The case was an MTIC Fraud which was part and parcel of Import Duty Diversion on Beers, Wines and Spirits. According to HMRC the OCG were accountable for significant losses to the UK Exchequer through associated large scale VAT and Excise duty frauds. The group also conducted a substantial money laundering operation in relation to the proceeds of these crimes which was believed to be in excess of £86 million.
13 different individuals were said to be involved along with a whole host of MTIC and Buffer companies some of which sold on the BWS to end user Cash & Carries who were never investigated.
The case was split into two trials with our client Mr Aslam Defendant 1 in Trial 2. As the case developed there were significant issues with the evidence and associated disclosure problems which related to material that had been withheld by HMRC and should have been disclosed far in advance of the trial itself. After considerable legal argument in Mr Aslam’s case we were able to restrict the alleged loss to HMRC to less than £7,000.
Ultimately Mr Aslam was convicted but only received a Suspended Sentence Order.
We instructed James Martin and Ben Holt of 5 King’s Bench Walk