Three tax advisers have been arrested as part of a HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) investigation into a suspected £132 million tax fraud involving offshore trusts.
The advisers, who cannot be named for legal reasons, were arrested yesterday following an investigation by the taxman.
According to HMRC a man aged 56 was arrested in Greater Manchester, another man aged 67 was arrested in Derbyshire and a man aged 59 was arrested in Warwickshire.
HMRC also said police searched a business premise in Greater Manchester.
All three are suspected of involvement in a scheme which involved using Jersey based offshore trusts to allow individuals to avoid around £132 million in income tax.
HMRC said the trusts were used by ‘professional financial advisers’ to help clients avoid paying tax.
No charges have been pressed against the three men, who were released on bail. A spokeswoman for HMRC said it expected to issue an update on the case in October, when the final bail term runs out.
Paul Maybury, assistant director of HMRC’s fraud investigation service, said the arrests signalled intentions to punish those who facilitate illegal tax avoidance schemes.
‘These arrests show that we are determined to tackle not only those suspected of tax fraud, but also the professionals who we believe abuse their position of trust to help them do it,’ he said.