Feeds

Judge slates Customs in £120m VAT fraud case

HMRC says lessons will be learned

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Top three mobile application threats

HM Revenue and Customs insisted today that it would press on with its attempts to crack down on VAT fraud after a judge’s withering criticism of its handling of one prosecution.

Five Manchester-based businessmen accused of a £120m VAT fraud centring on imported mobile phones were freed last month, after Mr Justice Crane stayed the prosecution for abuse of process. Defense lawyers had accused the prosecution of withholding evidence, thus depriving the defendants of the right to a fair trial.

Mr Justice Crane, in a statement in the High Court today, said the prosecution had delayed disclosing information which either suggested their witnesses were not credible or that the prosecution witnesses were themselves involved in fraudulent importing and exporting.

It would not have been fair to try the defendents, Mr Justice Crane said.

It is thought that Mr Justice Crane's decision could have implications for around 18 similar cases.

In a statement, HM Customs and Revenue said it would carefully consider the ruling and ensure any lessons for the future were learned and swifty acted upon.

The agency said it would continue to tackle fraud, "with all the tools at our disposal" and insisted its actions already had "a major impact on the non-economic cross-border trade in mobile phones and computer chips and reduced significantly the tax losses to the exchequer."

HMCR said that such cases were extremely complex and resulted in huge numbers of documents. It said that while it was fully aware of the need to ensure the defence had all the relevant documents at the relevant time, "it is not always immediately apparent or clear what documents fall as 'relevant'."

More details in The Independent and on Bloomberg. ®

Related stories

Jury clears businessman in VAT fraud case
Customs loses VAT weapon

Application security programs and practises

More from The Register

next story
BBC goes offline in MASSIVE COCKUP: Stephen Fry partly muzzled
Auntie tight-lipped as major outage rolls on
iPad? More like iFAD: We reveal why Apple fell into IBM's arms
But never fear fanbois, you're still lapping up iPhones, Macs
Nadella: Apps must run on ALL WINDOWS – PCs, slabs and mobes
Phone egg, meet desktop chicken - your mother
White? Male? You work in tech? Let us guess ... Twitter? We KNEW it!
Grim diversity numbers dumped alongside Facebook earnings
Microsoft: We're making ONE TRUE WINDOWS to rule us all
Enterprise, Windows still power firm's shaky money-maker
HP, Microsoft prove it again: Big Business doesn't create jobs
SMEs get lip service - what they need is dinner at the Club
ITC: Seagate and LSI can infringe Realtek patents because Realtek isn't in the US
Land of the (get off scot) free, when it's a foreign owner
Dude, you're getting a Dell – with BITCOIN: IT giant slurps cryptocash
1. Buy PC with Bitcoin. 2. Mine more coins. 3. Goto step 1
There's NOTHING on TV in Europe – American video DOMINATES
Even France's mega subsidies don't stop US content onslaught
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Prevent sensitive data leakage over insecure channels or stolen mobile devices.
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.
Application security programs and practises
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
The Essential Guide to IT Transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIO's automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise.