The Federation of Wholesale Distributors has taken its ongoing fight against alcohol duty fraud to Westminster and Whitehall, with questions being asked in the House about the scale of the problem.
The FWD estimates that the cost of duty fraud is pound;500m per annum in lost excise duty and it is having a severe impact on the UK Exchequer, legitimate traders and consumers who are unknowingly buying from criminals.
It wants to see a tougher clamp down on rogue traders who avoid duty and sell at implausibly low prices.
James Bielby, chief executive of the Federation of Wholesale Distributors, said: “Our members need to see evidence of alcohol fraud being tackled effectively and with at least the same rigour that HM Revenue amp; Customs used to combat VAT fraud.
“As their campaigning voice the FWD will continue to fight for that.”
Written questions have been submitted to the House of Lords by Lord Campbell-Savours about the estimated revenue lost to HM Revenue amp; Customs from alcohol drawback fraud and how many investigations, prosecutions and convictions for such fraud there have been in each of the last three years.
Treasury officials are obliged to provide an answer to questions.
Following an initial meeting between a delegation of senior wholesalers and the HM Revenue amp; Customs, a second follow-up meeting has been arranged to discuss the actions the FWD believes HM Revenue amp; Customs should take.
Meetings are also currently being held with Government ministers and Conservative shadows to discuss the effect of the fraudulent activity.