Three suspected of £900,000 VAT fraud

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Two men and a woman have been arrested on suspicion of VAT fraud totalling £900,000.

A 34-year-old man from Blidworth, a 55-year-old-man from Mansfield and a 50-year-old woman from Carlton, Nottinghamshire, were all arrested following raids by officers from HM Revenue and Customs investigating VAT fraud and money laundering offences.

Two residential properties and a business premise were searched and computers and business records were seized during the raids.

The alleged fraud is believed to have resulted in the theft of more than £900,000 from public finances.

The three are currently being questioned by HMRC criminal investigators under caution.

They were arrested on alleged offences of fraud contrary to the VAT Act 1994, the Fraud Act 2006 and money laundering offences contrary to the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002, a HMRC spokesperson said.

Gary Lampon, assistant director of criminal investigation for HMRC, said: “This action sends a firm message to anyone involved or considering fraud against HMRC – your time is up.

“We are working relentlessly to combat those involved in tax evasion and fraud and bring them before the courts.

“With over £10bn being stolen from UK finances each year by criminals involved in the hidden economy its serious crime which we are determined to eradicate.”