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7th March 2023, 15:26

Tobacco retailer appears in court on £22 million tax evasion and money laundering charges

Published by GBC News

A local shop owner has been charged with concealing a turnover of more than £22 million in undeclared tobacco sales from the tax office.

62 year old Rajesh Shukla is the sole director of Riverwall Ltd, a tobacco retailer in Ocean Heights. He appeared at the Magistrates’ Court on Tuesday morning facing multiple charges linked to money laundering and tax evasion.

His son Rohit Shukla also faces a charge of possessing criminal property.

The charges against Rajesh Shukla include tax evasion by falsely declaring his own income, as well as his company’s turnover, making a gain for himself of over £1 million.

The Montagu Gardens resident also faces a charge of possessing £61,816 in cash of various currencies whilst knowing this was criminal property, as well as a further charge of selling more than 200 cigarettes to any individual at any one time.

The alleged offences date back to between 2015 and 2020.

His son, 32 year old Rohit Shukla, also faces a charge from August 2020 of being in possession of over £17,000 undeclared income in different currencies, whilst knowing it was criminal property.

The charges follow an extensive financial investigation by Customs officers.

The case has been adjourned until next week, with matters likely to be sent to the Supreme Court due to their serious nature.

Rajesh Shukla has been granted £10,000 bail, with his son bailed at £1,000.