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by Staff reporter
16 February 2022
HMRC seizes NFTs for first time in tax fraud case

HMRC seizes NFTs for first time in tax fraud case

The tax authority has seized three Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs) as part of an investigation into suspected VAT fraud.

HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) said three people had been arrested on suspicion of attempting to defraud it of £1.4m. 

HMRC said it had seized the NFTs, becoming the first UK law enforcement agency to do so, as part of its investigation.

NFTs are digital tokens with a unique digital signature which can be bought and sold using traditional currency or crypto currencies such as Bitcoin.

According to HMRC, the suspects used “sophisticated methods” to hide their identities, including false and stolen identities, false addresses, pre-paid unregistered mobile phones and Virtual Private Networks (VPNs).

Nick Sharp, deputy director economic crime at HMRC, said the seizures of the NFTs, which had not yet been valued, served as a warning to anyone who thought they could use crypto assets to hide money.

“We constantly adapt to new technology to ensure we keep pace with how criminals and evaders look to conceal their assets,” he said.

 

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