Dawn raids by HMRC over a multi-million pound construction industry fraud saw
the arrest of 21 people last week.
In what is though to be a version of the ‘missing trader’ fraud, a complex
chain of companies was being created, which claimed to subcontract labour to the
construction industry but disappeared before paying taxes.
Eighteen men and three women from the West Midlands, Staffordshire, London
and Manchester were arrested and questioned by HMRC criminal investigators. It
is thought that the amount involved totalled more than £6m.
Adrian Farley, assistant director of criminal investigation for HMRC, said
the arrests were “the result of strenuous efforts by our teams of dedicated
officers to disrupt the sophisticated scams of organised crime gangs behind
money laundering activities”.
“This conspiracy by a number of contractors is believed to have resulted in
the theft of over £6 million from the public purse, depriving vital public
services of much needed investment. We are committed to bringing them to justice
and to deprive them of the proceeds of their crime.”
Cash totalling £73,000 has so far been seized along with paperwork including
bank accounts and computers, Class A drugs and associated equipment.
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