07 December 2006

Carousel Fraud: Virtually Virtual

I'm always amazed when people raise their eyebrows over the money involved in virtual worlds, because it's obviously not "real", and so doesn't count (ever stopped to consider how valuable that piece of paper you call a banknote really is?). But when I read things like this, I have to shake my head:

Missing trader or carousel fraud cost Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs £3bn in the last financial year.


Carousel fraud involves importing, or claiming to import, goods from another EU country without paying VAT, then selling them on and pocketing the tax. The same goods will often go from country to country earning fraudulent tax at every stage.

Increasingly, the goods don't even physically move.

So, this is fraud to the tune of billions of pounds per year, "increasingly" involving goods that don't move - and that presumably only exist as disembodied numbers passing through the UK government's IT system: and they're telling me that virtual money doesn't count?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Are these fraudsters spending their virtual illgotten gains on virtual goods and servicess?p