Press release -
Kent couple arrested on suspicion of £200k fuel fraud
A man and woman from Kent have been arrested by HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) on suspicion of being involved in a large scale fuel fraud.
It is believed that the fraud duped unsuspecting motorists and robbed taxpayers of more than £200,000 in unpaid fuel duty and VAT.
HMRC officers searched one residential address and two business premises in Gillingham, Rochester and Belvedere yesterday, 15 January 2015. Officers seized £40,000 cash at the domestic property and removed computers, business records and other documentation. Pumps and 1,500 litres of what is thought to be illicit fuel were seized at one of the commercial addresses.
It is suspected that rebated kerosene was purchased, laundered and sold illegally to motorists as duty-paid road diesel. The estimated unpaid VAT and duty is £200,000.
John Cooper, Assistant Director, Criminal Investigation, HMRC, said:
“The misuse of rebated fuel lines the pockets of criminals, can severely damage a vehicle’s engine and can have a devastating effect on legitimate fuel traders, forcing them out of business.
“Anyone with information about fuel fraud or people involved in the sale, storage or distribution of illicit fuel can contact the Customs Hotline on 0800 59 5000.”
The man and woman arrested were questioned by HMRC investigators and released on bail. The investigation is ongoing.
Notes for editors
- Details of those arrested:
1 woman aged 58 from Gillingham, Kent.
1 man aged 58, from Gillingham, Kent.
- Laundered fuel is red diesel or kerosene, which has been filtered through chemicals or acids to remove the Government marker. The chemicals and acids remain in the fuel and damage fuel pumps in diesel cars.
- Anyone with information about people or businesses involved in fuel fraud can contact our Customs Hotline on 0800 59 5000.
- Follow HMRC Press Office on Twitter @HMRCpressoffice
- HMRC’s Flickr channel: www.flickr.com/hmrcgov.uk
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.