Man arrested in suspected £1m VAT fraud


A 64-year-old man has been arrested during an early morning raid in Leeds by officers from HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) investigating a suspected £1m million VAT fraud linked to fake sales of disability equipment.

Investigators from HMRC, assisted by UK Border Agency officers and local police, carried out searches of a canal boat in the city yesterday as part of an investigation into an alleged VAT fraud and subsequent laundering of the criminal proceeds.

Mike O’Grady, HMRC’s assistant director of criminal investigation, said: “This is an investigation targeting a suspected VAT repayment fraud over several years and the laundering of the criminal profits by businesses based in Blackpool, Lancaster, Penrith and Workington.

“Further details cannot be provided at this early stage, as our investigation is continuing. However, tax fraud and attempts to launder the proceeds of crime are treated extremely seriously by HMRC, and we will relentlessly pursue any individuals or crime gangs believed to be attacking the Public Revenue in this way.”