Making progress in defeating duty fraud

FWD chairman Francis Ball emphasised the importance of the alcoholic drinks category to the wholesale trade, but warned that duty fraud was damaging the business of legitimate operators.

He said: “We are very active in this arena. It is a real cancer in the sector, it is seriously undermining the sector, and it is growing.”

He told the conference: “I can’t, for obvious reasons, tell you much about the detail of the work we are engaged in, but we are working closely with the suppliers and HM Revenue Customs.

“To a degree it is clandestine work, but we are doing everything in our power to bring some solution to this very difficult area and I think we are making some progress.”

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