Sunday 25 January 2015

Irish citizen to be extradited to the UK on £22m fraud claims

Aodhan O'Faolain

Published 15/11/2012 | 18:02

15/11/12John Nugent, leaving the Four Courts yesterday(Thurs) after he appeared before the High Court in relation to a European Arrest Warrant - he is wanted in England in relation to alleged VAT fraud.Pic: Collins Courts

AN Irish citizen has consented to being extradited to the UK where he is wanted for allegedly submitting fraudulent claims for duty and VAT worth more than £22m.

Jonathan Nugent (53), a UK-born naturalised Irish citizen, was arrested at Dublin Airport today after he was deported from the United States.

In a warrant seeking his arrest, the UK authorities claim that Nugent was brought before Manchester Crown Court on charges that on dates in the 1990's he conspired with others to smuggle or undervalue goods into the UK with the purpose of avoiding duty.

It is also alleged that he registered businesses with the purpose of avoiding taxes, used the names of legitimate business names to set up bank accounts used to avoid paying taxes, and falsified documentation.

In 2000 it is claimed he was granted bail, but failed to turn up for court, and left the jurisdiction. As a result European Arrest warrant was issued seeking Mr Nugent's extradition.

The goods allegedly brought into the UK by Nugent and others included computer chips from Ireland and Hong Kong. He was one of the UK's Customs and Revenue's (HMRC) top 20 most wanted fugitives.

Yesterday at the High Court in Dublin Mr Nugent told Mr Justice Michael Peart that he was consenting to his surrender back to to the UK, and that he wished to be returned "as soon as possible". Mr Nugent also told the court that he was consenting to his surrender after getting the benefit of legal advice.

He told the court that he was currently homeless as a result of being deported from the United States. He had been living in California illegally. Prior to being deported he had spent 60 days in detention. He had not been in Ireland for 12 years, he added.

It is expected that Mr Nugent's transfer to England will take place over the coming days.

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