VAT fraud – dawn raids

In the early hours of Tuesday morning HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) detained fifteen people from addresses across Glasgow, in the biggest ever operation targeting multi million pound VAT fraud. The detentions are linked to suspected carousel fraud…

a sophisticated organised criminal attack on the EU VAT system involving large scale, contrived and complex trading activity across and beyond the EU.

Nationwide 22 people were detained in the operation involving over 400 HMRC criminal investigators, supported by 100 officers from Strathclyde Police, Greater Manchester Police and the Metropolitan Police Service, executing over 60 search warrants at business and domestic addresses.

Gordon Miller, Deputy Director, HMRC Investigation, 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 (Tuesday), 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 carousel fraud and to showing the criminals behind it, wherever they operate in the world, that there are no safe havens."

This ongoing investigation is being co-ordinated by HMRC in Scotland, in consultation with the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service.

Do you know any of those arrested? Email us at

Anyone with information about activity they suspect may be linked to VAT fraud should call Customs Confidential on 0800 59 5000


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