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Walt with his own U Boat........


War Hero
Look at at this chap! Claims to have a replica U Boat - I don't think so..........! It looks nothing like a submarine, let alone a U Boat.

[h=1]German U-boat raided.... by customs and excise in VAT probe on 'warship' which has been turned into a museum[/h]
By David Baker

Last updated at 2:06 PM on 28th January 2012
The captain of a replica German submarine has been arrested during an HM customs raid - as part of a £1m VAT fraud investigation.

Officers from Revenue and Customs boarded the converted U-boat, which has been turned into a museum, while it was tethered to a jetty in Leeds.

Once on board they arrested Richard Williams, 64, who styles himself as the 'captain' of the barge, which has been named U-8047.

U-8407: HM customs inspectors raid a replica U-boat and arrest its 'captain' during investigations in to £1million VAT fraud

Williams was arrested on Thursday morning on the narrowboat, which has been converted into a museum.

Officers conducted a detailed search of the vessel which has been described as a realistic copy of a German U-boat.

Customs staff could be seen examining fittings and artefacts of the floating museum which has become well known to visitors to Clarence Dock since it was launched as an attraction last year.

Aye-aye captain: Richard Williams, with his replica U-boat, U-8047, which he has converted into a museum

It was reported at the time that a boat building firm in Liverpool had been commissioned to construct the £60,000 replica submarine to celebrate Williams’s birthday.

Williams’s family and friends assisted by fitting out the vessel with authentic items obtained on the internet.

The U-8047 Trust was even formed as a social enterprise for the upkeep of the craft and for the education of children.

A spokesman for HM Revenue and Customs confirmed that a 64-year-old man had been arrested in connection with a suspected £1m VAT fraud linked to fake sales of disability equipment.
Williams was arrested and bailed until April 19.

Probe: 'Captain' Richard Williams was arrested on his boat in Leeds as part of an investigation in to VAT fraud

The early-morning raid was carried out by investigators from Revenue and Customs, assisted by UK Border Agency officers and local police.

It is thought more arrests could follow.

The arrest follows a Revenue and Customs investigation, codenamed Operation Cloudcastle, into the alleged VAT fraud and subsequent laundering of the criminal proceeds.

Mike O’Grady, Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs’ assistant director of criminal investigation said: 'This is an HMRC-led investigation targeting a suspected VAT repayment fraud over several years and the laundering of the criminal profits by businesses based in Blackpool, Lancaster, Penrith and Workington.

'Further details cannot be provided at this early stage because our investigation is continuing.

'However, tax fraud and attempts to launder the proceeds of crime are treated extremely seriously by HMRC and we will relentlessly pursue any individuals or crime gangs believed to be attacking the public revenue in this way,' added Mr O’Grady.

On his website, Richard Williams says his main hobby in life is boating and confesses 'I’ve always been a bit eccentric.'

He once built a Star Trek Enterprise 'bridge' in his front room and got inspiration for his submarine project from an 'omen', after hearing Yellow Submarine by the Beatles.

His canalboat turned submarine has had thousands of visitors since 2010.

Read more: German U-boat raided.... by customs and excise in VAT probe on 'warship' turned into museum | Mail Online


War Hero
Book Reviewer
'Replica' my arse. I think we have been treated to a round of publicity on this barge before, but the extra bit about VAT fraud is new business.


Lantern Swinger
The RN used to have a small fleet of narrow boats converted to represent an aircraft carrier,a submarine and a destroyer...always wondered what happened to them.


War Hero
The RN used to have a small fleet of narrow boats converted to represent an aircraft carrier,a submarine and a destroyer...always wondered what happened to them.

They're being kept in extended readiness to replace CVF, V boats and the remaining T45s.


Lantern Swinger
Last edited:
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