Glasgow & West Scotland

Mohammed Sattar and Q-Tech agree £1.3m 'VAT settlement'

Scottish banknotes
Image caption The case over alleged VAT fraud was settled out of court

A Glasgow firm and its sole director have agreed to give up almost £1.3m in assets, following allegations of a large-scale VAT fraud.

Customs officers froze the assets of Q-Tech Distribution Limited in 2001 over claims it had avoided paying tax on imported computer components.

The firm and its sole director, Mohammed Sarfraz Sattar, were pursued under proceeds of crime legislation.

Both have now agreed to an out of court settlement of £1,271,842.

Q-Tech was set up in June 2000 and operated until May 2001, importing computer components from the Republic of Ireland.

In May 2001, the various assets belonging to the firm were frozen after its premises in Glasgow had been searched by customs officers.

Last year, the Civil Recovery Unit (CRU), which acts for Scottish ministers to recover assets under proceeds of crime legislation, was asked to consider the activities of Q-Tech.

Assisted by customs officers, the CRU raised proceedings against Q-Tech and Mr Sattar at the Court of Session in Edinburgh.

The CRU argued that those operating Q-Tech had falsified business records in order to pretend that VAT had been paid on the imported goods. That VAT was then reclaimed, fraudulently, from the tax authorities.

Speaking after the case settled out of court, CRU head Ruaraidh Macniven, said: "The Civil Recovery Unit seeks to use civil proceedings to disrupt crime of all types and to make Scotland a hostile environment for criminals.

"That is only possible through close working with law enforcement colleagues. In this case, that close working has resulted in a substantial amount of money being recovered for the public purse."

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