Seventeen arrests in VAT fraud swoop

Following a 21-month investigation, HM
Revenue and Customs
officers have made 17 arrests across the north-west of
England and Wales in alleged £20m VAT
missing trader

Those arrested are believed to be part of an organised crime group operating
a network of companies that ‘carouselled’ large quantities of mobile phones and
other low volume, high value goods, buying them VAT-free from across the
European Union and then selling them on to businesses in the UK, then defaulting
without paying the VAT due.

Euan Stewart, director of operations, criminal investigations, for HMRC said:
‘Tackling missing trader fraud is HMRC’s top priority. We have a duty to protect
the revenue given the scale and nature of the attacks we are seeing. Today’s
arrests are the result of a lengthy investigation by dedicated officers who work
tirelessly, fighting criminal attacks on the tax system.”

Further reading:

Anti-fraud measures slowing VAT registration

Carousel fraud: put the brakes on

BDO report: massive rise in business fraud

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