A FATHER has launched a desperate bid to get £15,000 raised to help his son who faces charges of money laundering.

Kulbir Sandhu’s son Lakhbir Sandhu has been charged with alleged tax evasion and money laundering after he was arrested in the Czech Republic in January last year.

The 43-year-old former gas trader was kept in prison for months without being charged and refused bail, not receiving his charges until January this year. He is now on trial with the next hearing set to be held later this month.

Harwich and Manningtree Standard:

Lakhbir Sandhu

Kulbir, from Westcliff, and the rest of Lakhbir’s family have always maintained his innocence.

A fundraiser launched by the family on Friday has already raised more than £5,000 which will go towards experts on tax law and the gas trade industry to help his case.

Kulbir, 72, who lives in Southbourne Grove, said: “Since the day he has been arrested he has been refused bail, and we are grateful that Southend MP Sir David Amess, the Foreign Office and the British Consulate in Prague are all applying pressure to help achieve his release, but their hands are tied when it comes to tackling the Czech legal system.

“He is relying on the Czech State lawyer who has been fantastic, but we need these experts to help fight the allegations.”

Mr Amess previously flew out with Kulbir to meet Lakhbir and has pledged to do all he can to ensure he gets a fair trial.

Kulbir said his son, who previously lived in Swindon, has “lost everything” with the family selling most of his belongings to support him, however, this does not cover the cost of the experts.

He added: “If the Czech police wanted him, they should have come here to extradite him. But they chose to lure him to Prague. He has lost everything, his job, reputation, car, home and belongings. He hasn’t seen his family for 18 months.”

To donate, visit www.gofundme.com/f/3hmen-justice4lak.