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​Flying and ferry fleeing fugitives grounded over £1m VAT scam

Flying and ferry fleeing fugitives grounded over £1m VAT scam

Father and son tax fugitives are finally behind bars after being captured in Spain and extradited to the UK. The £1 million VAT fraudster tried to avoid jail by fleeing to France in a light aircraft, while his accomplice father escaped by ferry before they both headed to Spain.

Former Sandbanks resident Jamie Colwell, 51, will today (24 May 2018) begin his prison sentence of five years and three months for stealing almost £1 million in VAT repayments on new-build houses that never existed. His father, Brian Colwell, 76, of Bournemouth, will start his two year and eight month jail term.

The pair were tracked down by HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) investigators and our overseas partners to a villa near Benidorm, where they were arrested by Guardia Civil officers on the evening of 9 May 2018.

They were returned to the UK yesterday afternoon (23 May 2018), and immediately taken into custody overnight before appearing at Bournemouth Crown Court by video link on 24 May. The men are now starting their jail terms for their part in the VAT repayment fraud.

Richard Wilkinson, Assistant Director, Fraud Investigation Service, HMRC, said:

“The Colwells thought they could evade prison and use their criminal cash to fund a new life on the Costa Blanca but they were wrong. With close cooperation from our international law enforcement partners we tracked the fugitives down, so they can now look forward to jail instead.

“HMRC is determined to ensure absconders face justice. We will pursue those criminals who blatantly steal from the public services we all rely on, and look to recover the proceeds of their crimes from current and future wealth.

“We encourage anyone with information about tax fugitives or suspected tax fraud to report it online, or to contact our Fraud Hotline on 0800 788 887.”

His Honour Judge Fuller QC, said that future sentencing will take place for the breach of bail.

Investigations revealed the men had travelled separately to France in January 2018 before crossing the border into Spain. Jamie escaped by plane to northern France, and Brian had crossed the Channel by ferry from Portsmouth to Caen.

The pair along with Jamie’s former partner Briony James, 45, of Salisbury had claimed to have spent £14 million building new houses, to fraudulently claim VAT repayments totalling £965,897, but a HMRC investigation revealed not a single brick had been laid.

Both men were sentenced in their absence at Bournemouth Crown Court on 22 January 2018. Jamie Colwell was sentenced to five years and three months imprisonment, and Brian Colwell to a jail term of two years and eight months. Briony James was jailed for 20 months. Confiscation is being pursued.

As part of HMRC’s investigation into finding the two fugitives, an Oxfordshire man was arrested on 2 May 2018 on suspicion of assisting an offender and perverting the course of justice. He has been released under investigation and enquiries continue.

The Colwells are the latest in a string of tax fugitives caught and returned to face UK justice, including Mariusz Chorazy, Lieb Berger, Antonio De Sousa, Mbarak Gowie, Wayne Hardy, and Geoffrey Johnson.

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Video Message from the British Ambassador to Spain concerning the Royal Wedding

Video Message from the British Ambassador to Spain concerning the Royal Wedding

The UK’s Foreign Office has issued a statement to help British residents in Spain to watch the Royal Wedding.

“We appreciate that most of you will not be able to access iPlayer, but hope the link to the YouTube channel is useful.

The Wedding will be available on BBC Global News, bbc.com and also iPlayer. It is also available on http://www.youtube.com/theroyalchannel live and for 24 hours following the event. BBC2 will have a 90’ highlights show at 7pm UK time on the Saturday. This will also be available via iPlayer afterwards. Various news companies will be creating bespoke highlights for news purposes that they can use for a limited period of time following the wedding.

Please also find below a WeTransfer link where you will be able to download a short video-message from HMA Simon Manley to mark the occasion, and where he outlines the details of the party he will host at his Residence in Madrid together with British citizens and others who have made an outstanding contribution to their local communities from across Spain.

https://we.tl/s-8Fi2qPK4Fa

A press release and pictures of the event at the Residence will follow tomorrow”.

You can find this and other news stories from the Canary Islands and Spain in the free, online 'News from the Canary Islands':

http://newsfromthecanaryislands.com

Remember to enter your email address for your FREE weekly online copy of 'News from the Canary Islands'

Keep up to date by joining our Facebook page: @newsfromthecanaryislands

Businessman in Fuerteventura Pretended he had been Robbed

Businessman in Fuerteventura Pretended he had been Robbed

A businessman in Fuerteventura with numerous criminal records has been arrested accused of pretending that he suffered a robbery of 13,000 euros to claim on his insurance.

The 38-year-old accused claimed that when he left his company with the weekly takings, he was approached at knife point by two men who forced him to drive his vehicle to Playa Blanca, where they stole his documentation, a mobile phone and two envelopes with 13,000 euros.

However, officers of the Nacional Policia investigated these claims of a crime of robbery and found that the accused vehicle had not been driven through the local streets, as he had claimed when the robbery was supposed to have taken place, and that the explanations of what had occurred had a large amount of unconnected and contradictory details.

The accused is presumed to have fabricated this so-called robbery to claim from an insurance policy he had taken out to cover a possible robbery, which is why police officers failed to believe the story told about the robbery.

You can find this and other news stories from the Canary Islands and Spain in the free, online 'News from the Canary Islands':

http://newsfromthecanaryislands.com

Remember to enter your email address for your FREE weekly online copy of 'News from the Canary Islands'

Keep up to date by joining our Facebook page: @newsfromthecanaryislands

​Shooting Range in Tenerife Contaminates Local Water Supply

Shooting Range in Tenerife Contaminates Local Water Supply

Residents of the Ajabo are in Adeje in Tenerife this week demanded the closure of the shooting range located in the ravine, because it has contaminated the local water supply.

Amigos de Ajabo, the neighbourhood association, believes that there is contamination both in its water supply and the entire ravine, where the popular shooting range of Adeje is located.

Local residents estimate there are about 25 tons of lead discharged in this natural environment, and that this has contaminated the water supply with lead, and demand the immediate closure of this shooting range.

The Government of Tenerife has already opened an investigation through the Insular Water Council. Technicians have analysed the water from the Ajabo well, where levels of lead have been found, but in quantities lower than established limits highlighting danger to human and animal health.

The City Council of Adeje is publishing all the necessary documents relating to the analysis of the water and for the surrounding area, and there has been talk of a precautionary closure of the shooting range, but a final decision have not yet been taken.

You can find this and other news stories from the Canary Islands and Spain in the free, online 'News from the Canary Islands':

http://newsfromthecanaryislands.com

Remember to enter your email address for your FREE weekly online copy of 'News from the Canary Islands'

Keep up to date by joining our Facebook page: @newsfromthecanaryislands

​Video Cameras in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria to Catch Vandals

Video Cameras in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria to Catch Vandals

In Las Palmas de Gran Canaria there are several outdoor escalators and elevators used by the general public that connect the upper zones and lower zones of the city, but recently these have become subject to significant vandalism, and have been left broken and unusable.

Therefore, the City Council is planning to install surveillance cameras, which should put an end to this mindless vandalism, or identify the culprits easily.

Currently, there are several broken escalators and elevators that prevent local people using these for access, but the City Council also cannot find companies willing to assume the maintenance of these public service facilities.

It has been announced this week that video cameras will first be installed in Risco de San Nicolas that connects San Antonio with Paseo de Chil after this is repaired and working again.

You can find this and other news stories from the Canary Islands and Spain in the free, online 'News from the Canary Islands':

http://newsfromthecanaryislands.com

Remember to enter your email address for your FREE weekly online copy of 'News from the Canary Islands'

Keep up to date by joining our Facebook page: @newsfromthecanaryislands

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