Time is running out for an Angus VAT fraudster to pay back half-a-million pounds or face a further five years in jail.
Forfar man Albert Amritanand, 69, has until Monday to stump up his ill-gotten gains or he will do more time behind bars.
Amritanand and former Forfar man Gareth Johnson, 47, were part of an 18-strong crime gang that stole £20 million in a mobile phone VAT fraud.
They were involved in the carousel fraud, which stretched across Andorra, Dubai, Hong Kong, USA, Switzerland, Portugal and the UK.
Armitanand and Johnson were sentenced to five years and 12 years respectively in 2013, but Johnson went on the run before he could be brought to trial.
Carousel fraud, also known as MTIC fraud, has been a major problem for the taxman.
Small high-value goods such as mobile phones are bought VAT-free then sold on without paying the VAT, with the company going missing.
Amritanand, of Reswallie, Murton, was the ninth gang member to receive a confiscation order from HMRC since the gang was jailed for a total of 135 years following four trials from April 2012 to September 2014,
The 69-year-old was Dubai-based Tectonics Holdings bookkeeper and the “money mover” for accounts under his control.
Johnson, previously of Turin, Forfar, played an integral role in the fraud as the money laundering arm of the operation through personal UK and offshore accounts. Efforts are continuing to bring him to justice after he was sentenced to 12 years in jail in his absence back in 2013.
He was the principal controller behind Tectonics Holdings and he also had control of Coast Logistics but he remains at large.
The arrests followed a 24-month investigation by HMRC, codenamed Operation Vaulter.
The carousel fraud involved a mobile phone initially being imported into the UK VAT free.
The phone is then subsequently sold by numerous intermediaries within the UK and exported, again VAT free.
Essentially, an intermediary goes missing without paying the requisite VAT to HMRC.
When the exporter then reclaims the full value of its input VAT, it is effectively seeking to recover funds that HMRC never received.
Essentially, it is this money that funds the fraud further back in the sales process.
The exported phone is imported again and goes round the loop, as if on a carousel, hence the name.
There have been reports of the same goods being circulated up to 35 times.