Press release

Mobile phone dealer disqualified for 13 years for taking part in £1m VAT fraud

Fiaz Razzak Malik, a director of Fima Consulting Ltd, a wholesale mobile phone business based in Slough has been disqualified as a director by the High Court for 13 years for participating in contrived transactions with a view to gaining VAT refunds of over £1 million.

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Mr Malik’s disqualification from 1 July 2015 means that he cannot promote, manage, or be a director of a limited company until 30 June 2028.

This disqualification follows investigation by the Official Receiver at the Public Interest Unit, a specialist team of the Insolvency Service, whose involvement commenced with the winding up of the company, for unpaid VAT owed to HMRC.

The Official Receiver’s investigation uncovered that Fima Consulting Ltd participated in a form of VAT fraud known as Missing Trader Intra Community fraud (MTIC) and that Mr Malik (36) was a director of the company at the time it engaged in these activities.

MTIC is commonly known as “Carousel” fraud, as large consignments of electrical or other small item size high value goods are invoiced rapidly and repeatedly around trading chains, speeded up by movement on paper, with actual movement of goods only taking place as they enter or exit the UK.

Such fraud indicators included the rapid succession of same day trades without deliveries within the UK of goods sitting at a shared freight forwarder, the common use of the same offshore bank, and entering into payment arrangements involving third parties who were neither suppliers nor customers. All traders banked with the First Curacao International Bank which was shut down by the Netherlands Antilles authorities in September 2006 in order to prevent money laundering.

Commenting on this case Paul Titherington, Official Receiver in the Public Interest Unit, said:

This type of VAT fraud is very serious and a high priority for HMRC and the Insolvency Service. MTIC fraud has been a great strain on the public purse and has cost the tax payer many billions of pounds in fraudulent VAT claims. The Insolvency Service is committed to making directors account for their actions.

Notes to Editors

Fima Consulting Ltd (Company number 04926050) was incorporated on 8 October 2003 as Office Designs Ltd but changed its name to Parts Trading Ltd on 13 August 2004 and then to its current name on 18 August 2004. Its trading address was at Flat 5 Stroma Court, Lincoln Way, Slough, Berkshire SL1 5RQ.

The petition to wind up the company was presented by HM Revenue & Customs in respect of unpaid VAT of £646,768. The winding up order against Fima Consulting Ltd was made on 28 January 2013.

On 10 June 2015 in the High Court of Justice, Registrar Briggs ordered that Mr Fiaz Razzak Malik be disqualified for a period of 13 years. The period of disqualification will commence on 1 July 2015.

Mr Malik’s date of birth is 21 May 1979.

A disqualification order has the effect that without specific permission of a court, a person with a disqualification cannot:

  • act as a director of a company
  • take part, directly or indirectly, in the promotion, formation or management of a company or limited liability partnership
  • be a receiver of a company’s property

In addition that person cannot act as an insolvency practitioner and there are many other restrictions are placed on disqualified directors by other regulations.

The Insolvency Service administers the insolvency regime, investigating all compulsory liquidations and individual insolvencies (bankruptcies) through the Official Receiver to establish why they became insolvent. It may also use powers under the Companies Act 1985 to conduct confidential fact-finding investigations into the activities of live limited companies in the UK. In addition, the agency authorises and regulates the insolvency profession, deals with disqualification of directors in corporate failures, assesses and pays statutory entitlement to redundancy payments when an employer cannot or will not pay employees, provides banking and investment services for bankruptcy and liquidation estate funds and advises ministers and other government departments on insolvency law and practice.

Further information about the work of the Insolvency Service, and how to complain about financial misconduct, is available.

All public enquiries concerning the affairs of the company should be made to: The Official Receiver, Public Interest Unit (South), The Insolvency Service, 2nd Floor, 4 Abbey Orchard Street, London WC1B 3SS. Tel: 020 7637 6438. Email: piu.south@insolvency.gsi.gov.uk.

Published 9 July 2015