A FRAUDSTER, who evaded nearly £60,000 in duty on smuggled alcohol, has been jailed and his dishonest accomplice also sentenced after lying to investigators.

Dilbagh Singh Dhillon, 39, a builder from Hayes End Drive, Hayes, had 46,318 litres of alcohol stored in an industrial unit in Hounslow owned by Sartaj Singh Gill, 33, from High Wycombe.

Officers from HM Revenue and Customs seized the booze during a raid in September, 2016.

They found a diary with detailed recordings of orders and cash payments. Under questioning, Dhillon admitted owning the diary but said someone else had made the entries in the book. Handwriting analysis later proved it was his writing.

Gill tried to cover for Dhillon by saying another individual was the tenant of the unit where it was stored. Investigators unravelled his story and Gill eventually admitted to providing a false witness statement.

READ MORE: 'Beautiful place' targeted by vandals

READ MORE: Shopping centre staff take youngsters on safari

Simon Kiefer, Assistant Director of the HMRC’s Fraud Investigation Service, said: “Dhillon was stealing from the taxpayer and undercutting legitimate traders.

“Money that should have been going to vital public services was going into his pocket. Gill lied and tried to pervert the course of justice.

“They’ve now been found guilty and we can begin working on getting that money back.” 

Dhillon pleaded guilty to duty evasion and Gill admitted perverting the course of justice at Southwark Crown Court and were both sentenced this week.

Dhillon was jailed for 28 months and Gill for 13 months, suspended for 12 months.