By Chris Lang
In January 2019, Sami Raja was convicted of fraud and sentenced to eight years in prison. In his trail at Southwark Crown Court, Raja was found guilty of six counts of conspiracy to defraud and money laundering. But Raja wasn’t in court, and didn’t go to prison, having fled to Dubai in December 2017.
Raja, along with Michael Nascimento, Sandeep Dosnjh, James Lanston, and Charanjit Sandhu, sold carbon credits to retail investors through two companies, called Harman Royce Ltd and Kendrick Zale Ltd. Between January 2012 and August 2013 they made £2.4 million by selling carbon credits for inflated prices to 130 victims.
Raja was arrested in September 2013
Raja was first arrested in September 2013. He was released under investigation. It took five years for the case to come to court. In July 2014, Kendrick Zale was wound up in the High Court in London for making false claims about investment returns.
In February 2016, Raja was banned as a director for 15 years for mis-selling carbon credits through Kendrick Zale.
In February 2017, Raja entered a plea of not guilty.
“Ain’t no one bursting my bubble”
In May 2019, from Dubai, Raja appealed his prison sentence. And carried on scamming.
While he was in Dubai, Raja posted pictures on his Instagram account of his travels around the world, staying in five star hotels, wearing designer clothes and a €4,000 Rolex, and getting out of a £33,000 Aston Martin.
In January 2019, three days after he was sentenced in London, Raja posted pictures of himself in a luxury resort in the Maldives, where rooms cost up to £10,000 a night. In one picture, Raja posed in an infinity Jacuzzi, with the caption, “Ain’t no one bursting my bubble”.
In March 2019, the City of London Police and the Crown Prosecution Service secured a European Arrest Warrant.
On 15 July 2020, Raja was arrested when he travelled to Athens. On 27 August 2020, he appeared at Southwark Crown Court and was sent to prison to start his eight year sentence.
In a press release, Senior Investigating Officer Hayley Wade, of the City of London Police’s Fraud Squad, said:
“Raja cruelly targeted elderly individuals with the intention of defrauding them of their life savings. At the time of his crimes he clearly felt no remorse for his actions and this attitude has only become more apparent over the last 18 months.
“He is a callous and greedy individual, but today we have shown he is not above the law. We hope the fact he is now finally serving the prison sentence he deserves for his crimes, will bring some comfort to the victims in this case.
“I would like to thank the National Crime Agency, Crown Prosecution Service, Metropolitan Police and the authorities in Greece, for all of their assistance in bringing Raja back to the UK to face justice.”