• Tuesday, July 23, 2024

News

Family ran decade-long operation to defraud Royal Mail of £70m

Thousands of items were under-declared by manipulating docket spreadsheets

(Photo: Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images)

By: Pramod Thomas

A family in Berkshire ran a decade-long operation to defraud the Royal Mail of £70 million, a court heard.

Three men reportedly gained millions of pounds by engaging in a scheme involving the deliberate under-reporting of mail in Berkshire and Buckinghamshire, reported The Evening Standard.

Parmjeet Sandhu, 56, along with his nephew Balginder Sandhu, 46, and Lakhwinder Sekhon, 42, appeared at Southwark Crown Court in central London on Tuesday (15) charged with conspiracy to commit fraud by false representation between 2008 and 2017.

Parmjeet and Balginder worked under the former’s brother Narinder Sandhu, who plotted the scheme. Narinder, who owned Packpost International Ltd, had already pleaded guilty.

Sekhon is accused of assisting Narinder in locating properties where he could invest the proceeds obtained from the fraud.

Parmjeet was the director of sister companies Tiger International Logistics Ltd and Worldwide Transport Express Ltd and Balginder owned Global Express Worldwide Ltd.

During the hearing, prosecutor Ellis Sareen said that a significant number of items had been deliberately under-reported through the manipulation of docket spreadsheets. This practice started in 2005 and continued until 2017, at which point Royal Mail investigators identified discrepancies.

Sareen stated that the trio took advantage of a self-declaration mechanism used by prominent postage companies. Additionally, in certain instances, they paid only half of the proper postage fees for the mailed items.

Sareen further noted, “In this situation, we’ll be discussing substantial quantities of mail – a multitude of thousands of items.”

The trio denied allegations of conspiring to engage in fraudulent activities involving false representation from 2008 to 2017. The trial in the case is ongoing.

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