Feeds

Two arrested in £80m money laundering probe

Customs allege missing trader fraud

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Customs and Excise officers investigating a suspected £80m VAT money laundering scam arrested two people in Chelmsford yesterday.

The money is believed to have been channelled through the bank accounts of two Chelmsford-based companies and suspected to be the proceeds of a VAT missing trader fraud involving the sale of mobile phones and computer chips.

Over twenty officers were involved in searches of business premises and homes in Essex, Sheffield, Nottingham and Leeds. A 33-year-old man and a 32-year-old woman were arrested for money laundering offences contrary to the Criminal Justice Act 1988.

They were interviewed by Customs investigators in Braintree and then released on bail, without charge, pending further investigations.

VAT missing trader fraud costs government an estimated £2.5 billion annually. Cracking down of this abuse of the tax system has been a top priority for Customs since September 2000.

VAT Missing Trader Fraud or 'Carousel' fraud involves importing goods into the UK from the EU that are correctly zero-rated for VAT. The goods are then sold on through a series of companies in the UK, all liable to VAT at the standard rate, before being exported back to the EU.

The company importing the goods incurs a considerable VAT debt as it has to account for VAT charged on the sales. In a fraud of this type this initial 'link' in the chain 'goes missing' and never accounts for the VAT due. ®

Whitepapers

Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
Seven Steps to Software Security
Seven practical steps you can begin to take today to secure your applications and prevent the damages a successful cyber-attack can cause.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.