Press release -
15 arrested in suspected £30m VAT fraud investigation
Fifteen men have been arrested across the country as part of an investigation into a suspected £30 million VAT fraud linked to the electronic communications industry.
Officers from HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) made the arrests during raids yesterday morning in Stoke, London, Glasgow, Bristol, Birmingham, Newcastle upon Tyne, Derby, Manchester and Scunthorpe. Raids were also carried out in Cyprus at the same time.
Around 240 HMRC officers searched 24 residential and business premises in the UK and seized business accounts and computers.
Paul Barton, Assistant Director Criminal Investigation, HMRC, said:
“We are investigating what we believe to be a large-scale, organised VAT fraud extending across the UK and abroad. The operation today sends out a clear message that we will relentlessly pursue those suspected to be involved in tax fraud.
“Anyone with information about people or businesses they suspect might be involved in tax fraud can report it by calling the HMRC 24-hour tax evasion hotline on 0800 59 5000.”
All 15 men are being interviewed.
Notes to Editors
1. Details of those arrested on 12 March 2014:
- Glasgow: one man, aged 52
- Stoke: two men, aged 41and 50
- London and South: five men aged 40, 34, 30, 45 and 56
- Bristol: one man aged 56
- Birmingham: one man aged 50
- Newcastle upon Tyne: one man aged 42
- Manchester: two men aged 52 and 49
- Derby: one man aged 36
- Scunthorpe: one man aged 44
2. The men were arrested on suspicion of being involved in VAT fraud and associated money laundering.
3. HMRC’s Flickr site www.flickr.com/hmrcgovuk
4. Follow us on Twitter @hmrcgovuk
Issued by HM Revenue & Customs Press Office
HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) is the UK’s tax authority.
HMRC is responsible for making sure that the money is available to fund the UK’s public services and for helping families and individuals with targeted financial support.