UK smugglers' gold jewellery could fetch £2.5m at action next week in Belfast

 
Madeline Ratcliffe
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Goldfinger(s): the smugglers' confiscated haul is worth around £2.5m (Source: HMRC)

Almost 150 kilos of smuggled gold jewellery, worth more than £2.5m, is set to be auctioned off next week.

HMRC seized the loot in 2012 from a gang trying to smuggle it into the UK, as part of a £9m plot.

The haul includes Asian gold rings, bangles and necklaces, along with a statue and gold bars, and the prices range from £200 to £5,000 per lot.

Already £700,000 has been raised by two online sales, and all proceeds will go to the UK government.

The gang’s leader, Chaudry Ali from Middlesex, was jailed for nine years in 2012, and ordered to pay back £4.3m of his criminal profits or serve an extra 10 years in prison, when he appeared at Kingston Crown Court.

Kevin Newe, assistant director, at HMRC's Fraud Investigation Service, said:

Our work doesn’t stop when a criminal is sentenced; we always look to reclaim their illegal profits for the nation’s finances to fund the public services used by everyone. By auctioning the gold we seized during the investigation we are moving another step closer to bringing this long and complicated case to a conclusion and ensure justice is fully served.

The gold will be auctioned on 30 October at Wilsons Auctions in Belfast, with viewing on the 28 and 29 October.

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