The value of carousel fraud in the UK dropped by £500m to £1.2bn between July and August this year, according to figures from the Office of National Statistics (ONS).
According to the ONS figures, the value of trade in exported goods, excluding missing trader intra-community (MTIC) or carousel fraud, rose to £18.1bn, up from £17.6bn in July. Conversely, the value of trade in goods and service exports in July and August, irrespective of carousel fraud, was £19.2bn and £19.3bn respectively.
A Treasury representative said: “Recent operational data and trade figures show a significant reduction in the level of trading associated with MTIC fraud. We are confident that this trend will be assisted by the forthcoming introduction of the Reverse Charge strategy.”
Eddie Pacey, director of credit at Bell Microproducts Europe, told CRN that the drop in the value of carousel fraud is a good sign.
“I don’t think the fraud is directly impacting the channel, but it will be positive for the government,” he said. “However, the fraud could now jump from high-risk areas, such as computer chips, into other sectors.
“Reverse Charge is definitely having an effect on the fraud, as well as the increased penalties for those involved in it.”
The figures contrast with earlier figures from HM Revenue and Customs, which revealed last month that incidents of carousel fraud across the European Union stand at their highest level since 1999.
The total value of missing imports for the first seven months of 2006 stood at £24.3bn, an increase of £12.8bn on last year and an increase of £22.6bn since 1999 (CRN, 18 September).
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