Breaking Stockport

A VAT fraudster who fled the country eight years ago to escape justice has been jailed for four years


Mohammad Tanwir Khan, of Bluestone Drive, Heaton Moor, Stockport, ran a company called Spearpoint Limited and absconded to Pakistan after he was convicted of an £817,000 VAT fraud in 2013.

An investigation by HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) revealed he used more than 350 false invoices linked to fictitious exports to pocket VAT repayments he was not entitled to.

The 66-year-old fled the country after he was found guilty and was sentenced in his absence to three and a half years in August 2013. He was also ordered to repay £696,749 or face another three years in prison.

Khan returned to the UK and was arrested by HMRC officers on 13 August 2021.

On 18 August 2021, he appeared at Manchester’s Nightingale Crown Court via video link where his sentence was confirmed. He was also sentenced to another six months in prison for absconding.

Eden Noblett, Assistant Director, Fraud Investigation Service, HMRC, said:

“Khan stole more than £800,000 of taxpayers’ money and thought he could escape punishment– but now he must serve his sentence.

“Tax crime robs our vital public services of much-needed funds. Our actions do not stop at conviction and we will always seek to recover the proceeds of crime.

“The majority of individuals and businesses pay the tax that is due – however there remains a determined minority who refuse to play by the rules. We encourage anyone with information about tax fraud to report it online or call the Fraud Hotline on 0800 788 887.”

Confiscation proceedings to recover the stolen VAT remain ongoing. If he fails to pay the confiscation order, he faces another three years behind bars and still owe the money, and any interest accrued.