Crime gang found guilty of VAT fraud
Four members of a criminal gang have been convicted for their part in a £30 million VAT mobile phone fraud. Missing Trader Intra-Community (MTIC) fraud focuses on mobile phones and other electronic media.
MTIC fraud also known as ‘carousel fraud’ typically involves the sale of small high value goods such as mobile phones which are imported free of VAT from other EU member states. The goods are then sold in the UK for an amount including VAT but the fraudulent business never pays the VAT due to HMRC.
The criminals in this case sold mobile phones and chips in the UK along a contrived supply chain before the goods were exported to Switzerland or Dubai. At the time the fraud was discovered, the gang had already successfully claimed £10m in fraudulent VAT repayments. The gang members will be sentenced in April.
John Cooper, Assistant Director Criminal Investigation, HMRC, said:
‘This gang stole vast amounts of money they neither earned nor deserved, all at the expense of honest people. They did this to fund the purchase of shares, high-end vehicles, a boat and property in Dubai. We also found evidence that the gang had had numerous foreign holidays, withdrawn large sums of cash and made payments to family members.
HMRC works tirelessly not only to identify and stop fraud, but also to recover the profits of crime. Our next priority is to seek out the gang’s assets, so that we can reclaim the proceeds of their illegal activities.’