Diversion fraudsters cost Treasury £25m a year?

18 February, 2011

Diversion fraud is costing the UK an estimated £25 million a year in lost revenue, the government has admitted.?Alcohol and tobacco suppliers can claim back duty if they intend to export the goods but the system is regularly exploited by fraudsters who resell the products illegally in the UK market.?According to Treasury minister Justine Greening, £117.4 million was claimed in 2010 – a figure that includes fuel products. In 2009, £116.8 million was claimed through the scheme, while in 2008 the total was £130.8 million.?Greening said claimants had to meet a number of criteria before receiving repayment. These include making goods available for inspection and providing evidence either of duty payment in another EU country or proof of export outside the union.?Meanwhile, Greening has revealed government agencies seized more than 1.8 million litres of illicit wine in the past nine months. She admitted there was “no specific estimate of the level of fraud in wine” when questioned by Lib Dem MP Dan Rogerson about the cost of illegal trade.?But she said: “When the alcohol strategy was renewed last year it was extended to address all categories of alcoholic drinks and not just spirits, the only drinks covered by the previous strategy.?“In the first nine months from implementation of the renewed strategy, HMRC and UK Border Agency have seized over 1.8

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