United Kingdom: Alcohol Galore Seized By HMRC In Scotland
30 August 2013
Posted by: Author: Amanda Banks
Author: Amanda Banks
HM Revenue and Customs has announced that a taskforce in Scotland has seized nearly 35,000 liters (7,700 gallons) of illicit beer, wine and spirits, and that those found to be involved may be subject to full tax and VAT investigations and to a review of alcohol and other trading licenses.
One person has been arrested on suspicion of duty evasion.
The tax body says that alcohol smuggling costs UK taxpayers GBP1.2bn each year, and that it is keen to work with and support local businesses that have to compete against illegal sales. The alcohol taskforce in Scotland is expected to raise GBP4m.
The operation involved more than 50 staff from HMRC, North Lanarkshire Trading Standards and Police Scotland, and focused on premises in North Lanarkshire and Glasgow. However, Chris Brett, who is HMRC’s Alcohol Taskforce manager in Scotland, warned that work is ongoing and that HMRC teams are active across Scotland. He explained that the whole supply chain was being targeted, "including producers, storage facilities, wholesalers and retailers."
Chief Inspector Gerry Findlay of Motherwell Police Office added that the outcome "demonstrates how effective information sharing and partnership working can be." He described the operation as "one of the largest of its kind in Scotland," and stated that other similar operations will be carried out in the future.
HMRC says that more than GBP80m has been raised from the creation of 43 taskforces since 2011, and that it expects a further GBP90m from new taskforces over the next three years. The taskforces target sectors and locations considered to be at high risk from tax evasion.