Husband and wife fugitives jailed for £3.9m VAT fraud

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Jiva Parmar and Rekha Parmar were on the run for nearly a decade

A COUPLE from Leicestershire who have been on the run for nearly a decade were jailed yesterday for over seven years for their part in a VAT ‘missing trader’ fraud.

Jiva Parmar, 43, and his wife Rekha Parmar, 43, failed to answer a summons in 2002 for their part in the plot to steal £3.9 million.

It is believed that they fled to India and then Dubai. An international arrest warrant was issued and they were both detained when they separately tried to enter the UK through Heathrow Airport last year.

The couple imported phones into the UK VAT free. A contrived chain of companies were set up, one of which was operated by Jiva Parmer, called Sphinx IT Ltd, and another by his wife Rekha Parmar, called AUM Mobile Communications, based in Sweden.

AUM Mobile Communications sold mobile phones to Sphinx IT Ltd with no VAT payable, who in turn sold them to a UK wholesaler charging VAT on the sale. However, the company went ‘missing’ without paying the VAT over to HM Revenue & Customs.

At Leicester Crown Court yesterday Rekha Parmar was sentenced to three years and nine months in prison and was disqualified from being a company director for fifteen years.

Her husband was jailed for three years and four months in prison and also disqualified from being a company director for fifteen years.

Gary Lampon, Assistant Director of Criminal Investigation, for HMRC said:

“This case shows that those who attempt to escape justice by fleeing the UK, will be pursued. They will be brought before the courts to face the consequences of their criminal actions. This was organised fraud on a massive scale by criminal’s intent on making huge profits at the expense of the British taxpayer.”

Four other people were jailed in September 2003 for their part in the fraud.

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