Missing trader, MTIC or Carousel fraud is the theft of VAT from a government from multi-jurisdictional trading where the movement of goods between jurisdictions is VAT free. We regularly accept instructions in relation to serious fraud investigations across European jurisdictions. An example of these types of fraud is detailed below.

A trader based in the UK buys a consignment of MP3 players from a company in Spain. The UK trader pays £2,000.000 for the MP3 players and the consignment is shipped to the UK. There is no VAT on the movement of these goods.

The UK based trader then sells the consignment of MP3 players onto one of his co-conspirators for £2,500.000 plus Value Added Tax (VAT). The value of the consignment is £3,000.000 including 20% VAT.

The second conspirator then sells the consignment onto a third conspirator for £2,750.000 plus 20% VAT. The third conspirator pays £3,250.000 including the 20% VAT. This conspirator then sells then consignment of MP3 players onto another company in a different jurisdiction, who may be an innocent party. No VAT is charged on the export and the third conspirator sells the consignment for £3,000.000.

The conspirators have legitimately made a profit of £1,000.000. The VAT is due to HMRC. In the Fraud the first business vanishes in the conspiracy, then the other businesses follow suit until the last claim for VAT is made by the company who exported the goods into a different jurisdiction. The company paid VAT on the consignment but exported it without receiving any VAT. This company is therefore able to claim the VAT back from the HMRC.

In some cases the consignments of goods can be stored in one location without moving between the different companies before being exported out of the country.

For a no-obligation discussion about your case please contact Mark Carter, Head of our Criminal Law department on 0800 1444 111, or email him at markcarter@cmsolicitors.co.uk. Alternatively, please complete our online form and one of our criminal defence lawyers will be in touch with you within 24 hours.

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