TWO Irish men are among the HM Revenue and Customs’s gallery of most-wanted tax evaders.
Michael Arthur Fearon, aged between 18 and 25, is wanted in connection with evasion of excise duty on nearly £8.4m worth of cigarettes.
He was thought to residing in Ireland but according to HMRC was involved in a car chase and crossed over the border into the North driving a black Mercedes.
A warrant for Fearon’s arrest was issued in Newry, Co. Down.
He is also wanted by the UK Border Agency in connection with money laundering offences and by the gardaí in Ireland for driving offences.
It is estimated that he has cost the British taxpayer £2m.
Also on HMRC’s list is Rory Martin McGann, 43, from Galway, who is wanted for VAT offences amounting to over £902,000.
McGann was arrested in Ireland and appeared in court in November 2008, but is now on the run.
A warrant for his arrest was issued at Belfast Crown Court. He is believed to be in Ireland or Britain.
The British tax authorities originally issued their list of most wanted tax evaders last year, but the tactic has since drawn criticism from the Labour Party as only one of the original 20 has since been apprehended.
John Nugent, 53, was tracked down by the HMRC Fugitive Unit with the help of the US authorities.
He was deported to Ireland on immigration offences and then extradited to Britain on a European Arrest Warrant to face trial.
Mike O’Grady, HMRC Assistant Director of Criminal Investigation, said at the time of his arrest: “We strongly suspect that Nugent left the UK on an Irish passport and flew with his family to the USA via Ireland.
Once we had located him, the American authorities used visa violations to deport him quickly so that we could enforce the arrest warrant.”He was sentenced at Manchester Crown Court in May to four and a half years in jail.