VAT fraudster returns to UK


VAT fraudster Raymond Woolley has been extradited by Switzerland and forced back to the UK.

Convicted of a £38 million mobile phone ‘carousel’ trading fraud, Woolley escaped Sudbury prison in February 2005 and is believed to have fled to Spain before being tracked to Switzerland.

Woolley was sentenced to nine years imprisonment. A confiscation order of £9.5 million remains unpaid.

The extradition is a result of two years work by Revenue and Customs Prosecutions Office (RCPO) as they proved Woolley was guilty of theft rather than tax evasion, which is not an offence covered by the extradition process in Switzerland.

Woolley also made several appeals against the process but his final appeal was turned down on February 26.

Financial Secretary to the Treasury Stephen Timms said: “VAT fraud is a deliberate attempt to steal from the public purse. I am delighted that the commitment of HMRC and RCPO has returned this criminal to prison to complete his sentence.”