Six people have been arrested as part of a UK wide investigation into a suspected £21m VAT and money laundering fraud involving Cheshire Police, Isle of Man Constabulary, the Guernsey Border Agency and Financial Investigations Unit and the National Crime Agency.
Simultaneous searches took place today at 13 premises in Cheshire, London, Manchester, Guernsey and the Isle of Man as part of the inquiry codenamed Operation Bannock.
Officers from the Cheshire Constabulary Economic Crime Unit executed a series of warrants in the Knutsford area resulting in the arrest of a 39-year-old man and a 41-year-old woman who are currently assisting police with their enquiries.
Manx police confirmed one person had been arrested on the Isle of Man. And two staff members have been arrested in St Peter Port, Guernsey. HMRC arrested ‘a sixth individual’ in the London area.
Diane Donnelly, assistant director, Criminal Investigation, HMRC, said: “Tax fraud is not a victimless crime and costs millions of pounds in lost revenue that should be funding public services every year. No one agency can tackle this alone and we are committed to working with our partner agencies in the UK and abroad to target those who try to attack our tax system.”
Anyone with information about people or businesses suspected of being involved in tax fraud can contact HMRC through the Tax Evasion hotline on 0800 788 887.