Tayside and Central Scotland

Multi-million pound VAT fraudster Shahid Ramzan's appeal fails

Shahid Ramzan Image copyright Ciaran Donnelly

A Dundee businessman jailed for cheating the government out of millions in VAT payments has failed in an appeal against his conviction.

Shahid Ramzan claimed he was wrongly convicted of cheating the taxman out of more than £5m.

The 42 year old was jailed for nine years in 2012 after he was convicted of crimes including hiding criminal property worth more than £20m.

His appeal was rejected at the Court of Criminal Appeal in Edinburgh.

Lawyers acting for Ramzan said mistakes had been made during the judge's final speech to the jury during his original trial, which dealt with a complex series of financial transactions.

However, judges ruled that the trial judge had not misdirected the jury, and that Ramzan's conviction was safe.

A full written judgement will be issued later this year.

Ramzan began trading from the bedroom of his Broughty Ferry home with only a telephone, a computer and a fax machine before building up a global financial network. Prosecutors claimed his international dealing was a cover for his real business, exploiting loopholes in VAT regulations.

He was found guilty of five charges including evading, either alone or with others, VAT payments of £5,611,839 between October 2002 and July 2004, and transferring or hiding "criminal property" of £20,610,213.

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