The two men, Adam Umerji, 33 and Addullah Yusaf Allad, 32 were originally charged in January 2009, but absconded before they stood trial. Three others involved in the fraud who pleaded guilty prior to trial were also jailed for 15 years at Liverpool Crown Court.
The gang operated a number of companies in trading in mobile phones in the Preston area. They submitted fraudulent VAT claims to reclaim millions of pounds in VAT paid by them on the purchase of large quantities of stock. They then transferred their criminal proceeds out of the UK to Dubai in an effort to conceal their illegal activities.