HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) has confirmed that 17 people have been charged so far after a series of dawn raids as part of a massive investigation into VAT carousel fraud.
As revealed by CRN online, the raids, which took place last week in Scotland, Manchester and London and saw 22 people initially detained, were described by HMRC as its “biggest ever” operation. CRN understands that the raids were linked to VAT fraud involving mobile phones, the value of which could run into hundreds of millions of pounds.
More than 400 HMRC officers, supported by 100 police officers, executed more than 60 search warrants in one morning at business and domestic addresses in the three locations. An HMRC representative has since confirmed that a further 40 properties were raided during the operation.
However, since the investigation is taking place in Scotland, details are limited because they are subject to Scottish law. The ongoing investigation is being co-ordinated by HMRC, in consultation with the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service.
Gordon Miller, Deputy Director, HMRC Investigation, said: “Last week’s operation is part of a large scale, international investigation into fraud. We are committed to tackling carousel fraud and showing the criminals behind it, wherever they operate in the world, that there are no safe havens.”
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