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Joint customs operation OCTOPUS was conducted by the French customs authorities (services of the National Directorate of Intelligence and Customs Investigations and the Directorate of Dunkirk) with the assistance of OLAF. The debriefing results were presented on 19-20 September 2016.
The operation targeted criminal networks for importing textile and footwear from China via the United Kingdom. OCTOPUS determined that significant value frauds were committed during customs clearance in the United Kingdom (undervaluation) and were prolonged by non-payment of VAT in the countries of destination. The operation revealed that these large-scale frauds were the result of very organized organized circuits, extremely reactive and having an excellent knowledge of the faults of controls, logistic circuits, false invoice systems and clandestine financial flows.