Customs officers carry out tax raids

One of the seven stolen signs from the Isle of Wight. Picture: Hampshire Constabulary

Warning over fears stolen vintage signs worth £1,400 could be sold in Portsmouth

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CUSTOMS investigators raided a Portsmouth business and a house in Waterlooville as part of an inquiry into a £50,000 income tax evasion fraud.

The properties were among eight targeted in a series of raids across Hampshire and beyond.

Thirty officers from HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) were involved.

One man was arrested and HMRC said that investigators also seized 18kg of hand-rolling tobacco and more than £13,000 in cash.

HMRC’s John Cooper said: ‘Tackling tax fraud is a priority for HMRC and we will not hesitate to investigate those suspected of stealing public funds.

‘Anyone with information about people who may be involved in this type of fraud should contact us.’

The arrested man was held on suspicion of cheating the public revenue, the fraudulent evasion of excise duty and money laundering.

He was released on bail and will next appear in court in February.

HMRC did not identify the premises that were raided.

If you have any information on fraudulent activity, then call the Customs Hotline on 0800 59 5000.