Rachael Singh, Accountancy Age, Wednesday 11 August 2010 at 10:08:00

A HM Revenue & Customs investigation has seen five arrests for allegedmoney laundering and VAT fraud

An HMRC investigation into suspected multi-million pound VAT fraud and moneylaundering has led to five arrests.

Four men, from Staffordshire and Greater Manchester, were arrested on 10August for conspiracy to cheat the revenue, and money laundering offences. Allare purported to work in the motor home and caravan industry.

Gary Lampon, assistant director of criminal investigation for HMRC, saidtackling fraud was one of the Revenue's "top" priorities.

He added the raids were the result of a "lengthy" investigation codenamed "Quicksilver" by HMRC.

The men arrested are part of an organised crime syndicate. It is believed thegroup created a chain of companies and false paperwork for the sole purpose ofreclaiming VAT.

The syndicate recouped VAT money on purchases of equipment in the UK which itthen allegedly exported to the European Union. HMRC believes the goods neverexisted.

HMRC officers searched nine premises consisting of seven domestic and twocommercial.

Further reading:

HMRCinstigates first carbon fraud raids

Accountantjailed for VAT fraud

Carouselfraud costs HMRC 2bn in VAT revenues