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Barristers arrested in MTIC VAT fraud probe

September 30 2011

Two barristers have been arrested over amongst other things an alleged large-scale VAT fraud. They are under investigation by Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs for an alleged tax fraud, while a third lawyer faces questioning by tax inspectors in the next few days.

Tax inspectors from HMRC arrested and interviewed the two barristers on Saturday morning. They are allegedly being investigated in relation to a type of VAT scam known as missing trader intra-community (MTIC) or carousel fraud.

HMRC confirmed that two barristers had been arrested, and another would be questioned over alleged VAT fraud.

MTIC fraud involves high-value goods being imported VAT-free from EU countries, and then sold at VAT inclusive prices in the UK through a chain of contrived transactions, and then finally exported. The tax loss occurs when the VAT charged on the initial sale of the goods in the UK is not paid to HMRC because one of the sellers in the chain disappears. But the final purchaser can still reclaim the VAT from the Government as the goods are exported.

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