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Garda National Economic Crime Bureau - multi-Agency Investigation into VAT Carousel Fraud

The Garda National Economic Crime Bureau commenced a multi-agency investigation in September 2016 into a multi-million euro VAT carousel fraud (€29 million). Funds were identified moving through bank accounts across a range of financial institutions linked to various companies in Ireland and Northern Ireland, under the control of an organised crime group. Large sums of money were subsequently transferred to bank accounts in a number of foreign jurisdictions. 

V.A.T. carousels involve more than one jurisdiction and numerous layers to facilitate the alleged movement of goods which in turn leads to the state being defrauded of VAT. This type of fraud involves supplier companies, V.A.T. registered entities, customer companies and transport companies.   

The investigation is being carried out by The Garda National Economic Crime Bureau (GNECB) supported by The Criminal Assets Bureau (CAB), Garda National Drugs and Organised Crime Bureau (GNDOCB), Revenue, Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI), National Crime Agency (NCA) and Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs Agency (HMRC).

Since the investigation’s inception, numerous production orders have been served on financial institutions and a large volume of documentary evidence has been uplifted.

In September 2017 fifteen properties, both commercial and residential were searched across four provinces, by The Garda National Economic Crime Bureau. A large volume of both digital and documentary evidence was seized.

In May 2019, one person, female aged (40s) was arrested as part of this investigation in Co. Louth and detained under the provisions of Section 50 of the Criminal Justice Act 2007 for questioning. (Organised crime legislation) She was subsequently released without charge.  

On Tuesday 6th August, a second person, male (50s) was arrested and is currently detained under the provisions of Section 50 of the Criminal Justice Act 2007 for questioning at Castlerea Garda station.

The investigation is ongoing. 

NOTE: No spokesperson is being made available at this time.