Seven people arrested on suspicion of £1m fraud

SEVEN people have been arrested in Lincolnshire as part of an investigation to tackle suspected illicit fuel use and VAT fraud, estimated to be in excess of £1m in lost revenue.

Officers from HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC), supported by Lincolnshire Police, executed search warrants at eight addresses in two separate phases of an ongoing operation.

,Peter Hollier Assistant Director Criminal Investigation said: “HMRC takes the illegal use of red diesel and tax fraud seriously and will not hesitate to investigate those suspected of stealing public funds. We urge anyone with information about individuals or businesses who may be involved in tax fraud to help us tackle this type of crime and contact the Tax Evasion hotline by calling 0800 788 887 or via the website www.hmrc.gov.uk/tax-evasion.”

In a series of early morning raids two people were arrested and three properties were searched in the Market Rasen area of Lincolnshire. Documents, computers and a van equipped with re fuelling facilities were seized. A third man who had just returned to the UK was also arrested.

In a previous operation three men and a woman were arrested on 29 March 2012 and five addresses were searched in Market Rasen. Officers found and dismantled equipment suspected of being used to adapt fuel tanks to use illicit red diesel. Quantities of documents and several computers were also seized.

They have all been released on bail while enquiries are ongoing.