Family-run firms guilty of £70m Royal Mail postal fraud

Royal Mail 2Three businesses which specialised in print, mailing and postage services have pleaded guilty to a fraud which cost Royal Mail at least £70m and funded the ringleader’s millionaire lifestyle.

The fraud, which involved the under-declaration of mail that was posted through a network of logistics companies in Buckinghamshire and Berkshire, ran between May 2008 and May 2017.

Narinder Sandhu, owner of Packpost International Ltd and ‘architect’ of the fraud, had already pleaded guilty to the crime. The prosecution said that Narinder lived with his family at Hadley Grange, a “multimillion-pound mansion” near Beaconsfield, Buckinghamshire. He also had a Bentley, a Rolls-Royce and a pool house.

His brother Parmjeet Sandhu, director of sister companies Tiger International Logistics Ltd and Worldwide Transport Express Ltd, and his nephew Balginder, owner of Global Express Worldwide Ltd, took part, it was alleged, as did a third man, Lakhwinder Sekhon, who is not related.

The court heard how “thousands” of items were under-declared by manipulating docket spreadsheets until 2017 when Royal Mail investigators uncovered discrepancies.

The accused “exploited and manipulated” a self-declaration system used by large postage firms and in some cases paid half of what they should have for the mail posted.

A week into the trial at London’s Southwark Crown Court Judge Philip Bartle KC told the jury there had been a “significant development” and the companies involved had now changed their pleas to a charge of conspiracy to commit fraud by false representation.

On Tuesday one representative from Tiger International Logistics Ltd, Worldwide Transport Express Ltd and Global Express Worldwide Ltd each pleaded guilty on behalf of the companies to the conspiracy.

The judge directed the jury to find the companies guilty of the charge which states they had “dishonestly” intended to make a “gain for themselves or another” by knowingly processing “untrue or misleading” declarations about the quantity, weight, class and destination of mailings.

The jury, under the direction of the judge, also found Balginder Sandhu and Lakhwinder Sekhon, not guilty of conspiracy to commit fraud by false representation.

Parmjeet Sandhu pleaded guilty to a charge of obtaining services dishonestly.

The judge told the jury: “Members of the jury, although it has happened very quickly, what it means is that this trial has come to an end.

“In one sense you may find it frustrating because you have heard the opening but heard no evidence in this case but it is the duty of all counsel to try to strive to achieve an outcome which is in the interests of justice. I am sure what happened is in the interest of justice. I am sure that this is a satisfactory outcome.”

Parmjeet Sandhu was released on conditional bail. He will be sentenced in October.

Related stories
Eight Brits face trial over alleged car crash data ring
Data thief dodges jail but must pay back £25k or else
Jailed car crash data thief ordered to pay back £25,500
Car crash data thief hit with six month prison sentence
Sacked and fined: would-be data thieves warned again
Bent copper gets five years for car crash data theft

Print Friendly