A British Asian gang of fraudsters may have been involved in misusing billions of pounds of British tax-payers money to fund terrorist networks in Pakistan and Afghanistan, claims a UK media investigation based on police and intelligence files.
The gang, based in London, Buckinghamshire, Birmingham, north-west England and Scotland, is alleged to have sent 1 per cent of its gains from their elaborate tax fraud to Al-Qaeda in Pakistan and Afghanistan.
An estimated 80 million pounds is believed to have been funnelled out by the fraudsters as part of an elaborate VAT and benefits fraud against the UK’s revenue department over the past two decades, with further gains made through mortgage and credit card fraud targeting banks and individuals.
“Secret intelligence held by MI5 states that some of the money reached the Pakistani compound that housed the Al-Qaeda mastermind Osama bin Laden before US forces stormed it in 2011,” the newspaper reports as part of a two-year investigation.
The gang, made up of British men of Asian-origin who cannot be named due to court orders, reportedly infiltrated multiple UK government agencies and even corrupted local politicians.
Mid-ranking gang members have been sentenced to more than 100 years in prison for fraud and money laundering in a series of linked trials.
Their crimes have reportedly cost the UK taxpayer an estimated 100 million pounds.
Reporting restrictions imposed at the start of the first trial prevent the identification of any of the gang because several kingpins fled the UK before they could be arrested and are now thought to be based in the Middle East.