UK – HMRC criminal investigation into alleged exports of perfume to Russia

In a civil judgment handed down earlier this week, it was revealed (at paragraph 63) that an individual, David Crisp, was arrested by HMRC on 10 October 2023 and electronic devices were seized.

The allegation is that companies managed by Mr Crisp were knowingly exporting perfume to Russia in breach of the UK’s sanctions.

As of the date of the judgment, HMRC had confirmed (at paragraph 69) that the criminal investigation remains ongoing but so far no charges have been made and Mr Crisp is no longer on bail.

The judgment itself is of note for the Court removing Mr Crisp as a director of the relevant companies on the basis that there was a “strong prima facie evidential basis for the allegations” of breaching the UK’s sanctions. The orders were a form of interlocutory relief as part of an unfair prejudice petition brought by another of the shareholders of the companies.


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