Category Archives: Case Study

Hydra Sellers – The Terrifying Monsters of Online Marketplaces

The Hydra, in Greek mythology, is a terrifying mythical monster that has the body of a serpent with nine vicious heads. If one head is cut off, two new ones grow in its place. This make the Hydra almost impossible to kill. One of the Hydra’s heads can never be harmed by any weapon.

Just like the Greek mythical monster, Hydra Sellers are impervious to attack. When HMRC chops off one of their Online Marketplace accounts, the Hydra Seller quickly grows two new accounts. The Hydra Sellers unstoppable rampage continues with them selling more VAT free, counterfeitnon-compliant & dangerous goods, sold on the back of fake reviews, to their unsuspecting victims.  Most of their goods will quickly end up discarded and recycled at the tax payers expense.

The Hydra Seller’s head that can never be harmed, often resides in Shenzhen, where it is completely out of reach for HMRC to prosecute.

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What is a Chinese seller doing with 36 eBay Accounts & 25 VAT Numbers?

The latest Chinese eBay scam; a Chinese Seller operating 36 eBay accounts, has 25 VAT numbers and prices that are too good to be true.

We noticed this best selling Desktop Mobile Phone Stand on eBay for £3.99 including delivery.  This product would be impossible to sell for £3.99 if the correct VAT, postal rate, fulfilment charges, import duty & import delivery was charged. A second class stamp alone would cost £2.71 to send it because it is “packet” size.  So we did some digging and here is what is going on:

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YOTOOL LTD, LL TRADER LTD & WUIHANGWAN TRADE CO – Still Trading

We reported this seller to HMRC VAT Fraud team in 2014. They have now closed down all their accounts and re opened under a new identity WUIHANGWAN TRADE CO., LIMITED, evading all their unpaid VAT and having no stock seized by HMRC – great work. Where is the justice in that HMRC?

HMRC has gifted this seller at least £5,000,000 in unpaid VAT so far. That’s 21% of the total £22.5m budget HMRC have allocated to tackle this fraud over the next 5 years.

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TOMTOP – removed 2017

We reported this seller to HMRC VAT Fraud team in 2014 . HMRC finally took action against them in the summer of 2017.

HMRC has gifted this seller at least £4,000,000 in unpaid VAT That’s 17% of the total £22.5m budget HMRC have allocated to tackle this fraud over the next 5 years

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