UK: Investigation ordered into millions missing in wine and spirit tax

By Sarah Diston | 4 July 2000

An immediate investigation has been ordered by the government to find out how millions of pounds could have been lost in tax on wine and spirits meant for export, but sold in the UK.An inquiry by Customs and Excise has found "serious weaknesses" in controls on wines and spirits meant for abroad and it is believed huge quantities could have been diverted and sold in the UK without paying normal excise duties."This issue will be addressed immediately and thoroughly, a full independent investigation is the only appropriate course of action and any weaknesses in the control regime and its application must be identified, rooted out and corrected quickly," says the UK's Paymaster General Dawn Primarolo.The investigation will also look at any shortcomings which may be found in the system during any on-going prosecutions as there have been a number of prosecutions and so far about 100 convictions concerning tax excise fraud in one major group of cases.

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An immediate investigation has been ordered by the government to find out how millions of pounds could have been lost in tax on wine and spirits meant for export, but sold in the UK.An inquiry by Customs and Excise has found "serious weaknesses" in controls on wines and spirits meant for abroad and it is believed huge quantities could have been diverted and sold in the UK without paying normal excise duties."This issue will be addressed immediately and thoroughly, a full independent investigation is the only appropriate course of action and any weaknesses in the control regime and its application must be identified, rooted out and corrected quickly," says the UK's Paymaster General Dawn Primarolo.The investigation will also look at any shortcomings which may be found in the system during any on-going prosecutions as there have been a number of prosecutions and so far about 100 convictions concerning tax excise fraud in one major group of cases.

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