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1981 Playland. The Plot Thickens – Tax Evasion

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Just 5 years after being at the centre of a “child vice racket” and going to be closed down, Playland as well as other amusement arcades were again causing problems for authorities, this time for the Customs authorities in charge of overseeing VAT was paid.

20th Aug 1981 The Times by Stewart Tendler Customs recover record £2.7m from amusement arcade VAT frauds [1] Text for the article is also in Timeline below.

The_Times_1981-08-20OpNudgerThis clipping is noteworthy for several reasons

  • Operation Nudger lasted a year and involved 100 Customs officers in undercover work watching amusement arcades. It appears to be VAT fraudThis was the largest ever operation at the time.
  • Commissioners for Customs and Excise used rarely used powers under the Customs and Excise Management Act 1979 to halt the prosecution
  • The settlement is more than twice the figure of £1.3m recovered in VAT cases
    last year through fines, the award…

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