Ipswich pair in �2million fraud bust

A MAN and a woman from Ipswich were among twelve people arrested in dawn raids across the UK on suspicion of VAT fraud worth more than �2 million.

A MAN and a woman from Ipswich were among twelve people arrested in dawn raids across the UK on suspicion of VAT fraud worth more than �2 million.

Those arrested are believed to be part of an organised crime gang claiming to trade in construction industry equipment and concrete crushing machines.

Paperwork including bank accounts and computers were seized along with live ammunition, CS spray and an imitation firearm.

The twelve were arrested under the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 in relation to a version of 'missing trader' fraud, in which a made up chain of companies reclaim VAT never actually paid on the sale of exported equipment.

Criminal investigators from HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) believe the goods never even existed.

Adrian Farley, assistant director of criminal investigation for HMRC, said: “Today's arrests are a result of many months of investigation across the UK to unravel what is believed to be a major fraud.

Most Read

“One of our key priorities is to identify the abuse of our tax systems by organised crime gangs stealing vast amounts of public money for their own gain.

“Working closely with other law enforcement agencies we will unravel cases of complex fraud and bring those responsible before the courts.”

Twelve warrants were executed this morning - eleven at residential properties and one at a business premises - in Staffordshire, Cheshire, Manchester and Suffolk.

A man and a woman were arrested and a residential property and business searched in Ipswich.