A company director who supplied stents for heart surgery to the NHS has been jailed for fraud and money laundering (Tuesday 2nd July 2013, Bradford Crown Court) following an investigation by NHS Protect.
Sarfaraz Ali, 35, of Milton Place, Halifax, was found guilty on 14 counts including two of fraud (submitting false invoices) and twelve relating to money laundering of £100,829.15. The total loss to the NHS was £102,500.
Ali, a Director of UK Surgical in Bradford, was sentenced to 15 months’ imprisonment and also faces Proceeds of Crime Act proceedings. A Confiscation Management Hearing is due to take place in October.
The businessman had previously acted as a contracted agent for Abbott Vascular, a company based in the Netherlands which supplied stents for cardiac procedures to the Cardiac Catheter Laboratories of East Lancashire Hospitals Trust (ELHT) among other trusts in the North West. So much for buying British.
In 2007, Abbott Vascular set up its UK operations, no longer required the services of UK Surgical and terminated their contract. Letters were sent to NHS organisations involved by Abbott Vascular. However, ELHT’s procurement department did not receive a letter. That old chestnut.
In September 2009, following a procedure involving the use of a new type of stent, orders were raised and sent in error to the previous address of UK Surgical, not as they should have been to Abbott Vascular. UK Surgical were no longer in operation at the time.
Ali, seeing an opportunity to divert money to himself, then sent two forged invoices along with changed bank account details, which ELHT’s procurement department accepted and entered on their computer system.
In February 2010, as the second of two Cardiac Catheter Laboratories was due to open, it was decided a ‘call off’ order would be made to the value of £75,000 to stock the new Catheter Lab and numerous other orders followed.
In total, orders to the value of £102,500 were placed directly to Abbott Vascular but the payments for the invoices were sent to the UK Surgical account.
First arrested in August 2011, Ali was interviewed three times but still denied any involvement. The Economic Crime Unit at Bradford Police Station were called in to investigate the audit trail and found that the monies had been paid into Ali’s Royal Bank of Scotland account and onwards to other accounts in an attempt to conceal the theft. These included one payment of £83,501.39 which he immediately transferred through a number of other bank accounts. All the money was taken out of the accounts via two bank drafts.
Five men were arrested last week after Home Office Immigration Enforcement officers carried out raids on restaurants in Denbighshire and Flintshire to carry out immigration checks on staff
On Thursday (27th June), officers acting on intelligence received visited the Samirah Indian Restaurant on Regent Street, Llangollen, where they arrested a 25- year-old Bangladeshi man who had overstayed his visa.
Later that evening, officers raided the Radhuni Indian Restaurant on High Street, Denbigh, and arrested three Bangladeshi men, two aged 21 and a 23-year-old, were arrested for the same offence.
On Friday (28th June) at Kebab & Pizza, Central Precinct, Brunswick Road, Buckley a 26-year-old Turkish man was arrested for having overstayed his visa. All the men arrested are currently in Home Office detention awaiting their removal from the UK.
A man who forged passports in an attempt to assist others settle in the UK has been jailed following a Home Office investigation. Taj Uddin, originally from Danby Road in Hyde, was found guilty of possession of forged identity documents with intent for improper use on 14th June at Manchester Crown Court. On Tuesday (2nd July) he was sentenced to 30 months imprisonment.
Uddin, 41, was caught at an address in Portsmouth on 2nd October last year following an investigation carried out by the Home Office north west criminal and financial investigation (immigration) team. In total five forged passports in different names were found at his home address in Manchester.