Narinder Sandhu lived in a “multi-million-pound mansion” in Buckinghamshire with luxury cars and an indoor pool after running the decade-long scam on Royal Mail
A man who cheated Royal Mail out of over £70million by falsely declaring mail weights, classes and destinations to fund a luxury lifestyle has been jailed.
Narinder Sandhu, 62, lived in a “multi-million-pound mansion” in Buckinghamshire with an indoor pool, keeping a Bentley and a Rolls-Royce on the driveway. Narinder, the owner and director of Pack Post International LTD (PPIL), ran the decade-long scam from 2005, along with brother Parmjeet Sandhu, 56, and James Mooney, 44, between 2008 and 2017.
In the tax year 2014/15 Parmjeet Sandhu declared an income to HMRC of £495,000 per annum. But, “notwithstanding a financially disadvantageous divorce settlement”, as of December 2020, he owned real property worth around £2.6million, with equity of around £1.3million, largely funded by the companies involved in the fraud. A total of 433 spreadsheets were also discovered which showed PPIL paid £1.7million for postal services when the figure should have been £6million.
Despite others being involved, a court previously heard how Narinder Sandhu was the “architect” of the fraud and enjoyed his luxury lifestyle. The mail was sent through logistics companies in Berkshire and Buckinghamshire from 2008 to 2017, prosecutors said. Prosecutor Ellis Sareen said “thousands” of items were under-declared by manipulating docket spreadsheets until 2017 when Royal Mail investigators uncovered discrepancies. Mr Sareen added: “In this case, we will be talking about literal tonnes of mail – thousands of thousands of items.”
Sareen, prosecuting this week, told jurors how Parmjeet was “integral” to the fraud, but not rewarded as generously as his brother. He said: “His [Parmjeet’s] rewards were commensurate with the importance of his work. He did not do as well as Narinder Sandhu out of this fraud. Narinder Sandhu and his wife Jaswinder had a multi-million-pound home near Beaconsfield. As well as a Bentley, a Rolls-Royce, a pool house, etc. His declared income – what he was paying tax on – was about £1million per year towards the end of the period that the fraud was running.”
Sentencing the three men Judge Philip Bartle KC said: “The Royal Mail operated a self-declaration system for large customers. These three defendants took advantage of this weakness to persistently under-declare mail for almost a decade. I accept on the case of each of these defendants they are genuinely remorseful. I have no doubt they are genuinely remorseful and that is shown in their willingness to make not only compensation but, very, very, substantial compensation.”
Narinder Sandhu was sentenced to four years. He will only serve half the term before he is released on licence. Parmjeet Sandhu and James Mooney were both handed suspended sentences. Parmjeet Sandhu was given 24 months prison suspended for two years and Mooney was handed 21 months suspended for two years. Parmjeet Sandhu must also complete 150 hours of unpaid work.