A ‘WHEELER dealer’ who had links with an alcohol fraud gang and another smuggling cigarettes through Christmas snowmen has appeared on a tax fraudsters most wanted list.

Sumir Soni, who is currently believed to be in Kenya, is thought to have connections with a £1.8m alcohol duty fraud gang led by Paramjit Bagri, co-director of MF Beers and Minerals based in Great Sankey.

Described as the ‘master mind’ of the conspiracy, Bagri was jailed in September 2011 for five-and-a-half years alongside five other men for supplying illicit non duty paid alcohol to retailers.

Soni, who originally lived in Huddersfield but moved to Birkenhead, is also thought to have links with two Manchester men who were jailed in 2010 after pretending to import Christmas snowmen in a plot to smuggle nine million cigarettes into the UK through Felixstowe docks.

The cigarettes had a potential tax loss of more than £1.4m.

A warrant was issued for Soni’s arrest after he failed to appear in Manchester Crown Court in January 2010 for evading duty of £3.6m.

He is thought to now be aged between 45 and 55 and also used the names John Soni, John Miller, Samir Soni and Bhader Singh.

Soni is one of 10 new mug-shots released by HM Revenue and Customs one year after it issued 20 images of tax fraudsters who are on the run for the first time.

Those images were viewed over 1.5 million times by the public with information leading to the successful recapture of two high profile fugitives which included Warrington computer company director John Nugent.

As the Warrington Guardian reported in May this year, the 53-year-old from Great Sankey was tracked down in America after being linked with a £22m tax fraud.

He was jailed for four years and six months after using his company, Clear Technology Limited based on Lovely Lane, to help others smuggle goods into the UK, evade UK duty and use false paperwork and invoices to reclaim millions of pounds in VAT repayments.

The laundered money was hidden in offshore bank accounts.

George Osborne, Chancellor of the Exchequer, said: “Our message is clear; tax fraud and evasion is illegal and absolutely unacceptable.

“The Government has invested hundreds of millions of pounds in HMRC’s enforcement activities to enable them to pursue tax cheats like these relentlessly.”