Victims’ group director in VAT fraud probe

September 16, 2013

A director of the victims’ group FAIR, who was arrested in connection with a suspected £70,000 VAT fraud has claimed his arrest was an attempt to humiliate him because he spoke out publicly during the flag protests earlier this year.

Pastor Barrie Halliday was questioned by officers from Revenue and Customs (HMRC) for four hours on Tuesday.

Speaking afterwards, Pastor Halliday, said: “I believe this was just an attempt at humiliation. I have been very vocal during the flag protests and I am unrepentant about that.”

HMRC said officers searched a business address in the Armagh area where they seized business records relating to the fraud.

John Whiting, HMRC Assistant Director for Criminal Investigation, said: “HMRC takes tax fraud extremely seriously and anyone deliberately choosing to evade the taxes they owe should expect not only a heavy fine, but possibly a criminal prosecution as well.”

A HMRC spokesperson said the man arrested was released on bail to appear at a police station at a later date.