TaxAdministrationJudge heads probe into Customs’ alcohol bungle

Judge heads probe into Customs' alcohol bungle

The High Court judge appointed to head the inquiry into the circumstances in which Customs was forced to abandon a case involving up to £680m in missing revenue, has been named as former criminal lawyer QC justice Butterfield.

Link: Customs’ faces inquiry after alcohol tax bungle

He will start work in January examining investigating officers’ practices and procedures relating to disclosure, associated investigation techniques and case management.

The inquiry follows the decision by the prosecution not to proceed with one of a series of cases involving the diversion of untaxed alcohol due for export, which was sold on to the home market instead.

Altogether £680m was lost when investigation teams allowed diversion to take place in a bid to catch the perpetrators and failed to secure the missing revenue.

To make matters worse the cases had to be dropped as well after the prosecution accepted it would not be able to re-build defence assertions and that the defendants would not be able to have a fair trial.

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