Ten men have been arrested this morning at various addresses in the UK and Wales as part of HM Revenue and Customs’ (HMRC) ongoing investigation into a £250m VAT missing trader fraud.
Codenamed Operation Euripus, the arrests follow a five-year investigation in an alleged £250m mobile phone VAT fraud, which has included the examination of over half a million documents and the hard drives of 391 computers.
Further arrests are expected and searches will continue at one address in Nuneaton, HMRC revealed. In addition, European arrest warrants have been issued in France and Spain against four individuals.
Euan Stewart, deputy director criminal investigation for HMRC said: “Tackling missing trader fraud is HMRC’s top priority. We have a duty to protect the revenue given the scale and nature of the attack we are seeing.
“Today’s arrests follow years of painstaking effort by dedicated officers. The sophistication of the organised crime gangs behind these frauds means that our investigations are increasingly complex, but we are committed to bringing the fraudsters to justice and to recovering the money stolen from the British taxpayer, wherever in the world our investigations lead. This is not victimless crime, it’s organised crime that causes real harm.”
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