Carousel Fraud Raids – 16 Arrested

Last week HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) executed one search warrant at an address in Bristol as pert of an operation targeting multi million pound VAT fraud.

The raid was linked to suspected ‘Missing Trader’ fraud, a sophisticated organised criminal attack on the EU VAT system involving large scale, contrived and complex trading activity across and beyond the EU.

The international operation saw over 300 HMRC criminal investigators deployed across four countries including France, Spain, Germany and the UK. In the UK a total of 50 search warrants were executed at business and domestic addresses in London, Glasgow, the Midlands, Cheshire, Dover, Bristol and South Wales. A total of 16 people were arrested in the operation.

Euan Stewart, HMRC Deputy Director of Criminal Investigations, said:
"Organised criminals are attacking the tax system, with the aim of stealing huge amounts of revenue. The scale of the problem across Europe is unprecedented, and HMRC has significantly strengthened its response to this serious fraud. Today’s operation, one of the biggest ever undertaken by HMRC, is part of a large scale, international criminal investigation into frauds that may run to hundreds of millions of pounds. We are committed to tackling VAT fraud and to showing the criminals behind it that there are no safe havens. We will pursue them, and the money they steal, wherever they operate in the world."