A south-East London family were part of a series of slick, if convoluted, plots for over 20 years to defraud the Exchequer, it has emerged. 'To the outside world, Trotters Independent Trading carefully cultivated an image of a regular working-class family', noted investigative journalist Lilian De Rennes today. 'Just trying their best to get on and combining obviously doomed money-making schemes with a strong sense of comedy and pathos.' ‘However, our pain-staking investigation, involving the viewing of over 100 hours of video footage, has revealed tax avoidance - and slapstick humour - taking place on an industrial scale, all co-ordinated from a small tower block flat in Peckham and the local Nags Head pub’, continued De Rennes. ‘Their 'no income tax, no VAT' mantra funded increasingly outlandish spending, including self-inflating blow up dolls and spontaneously exploding Albanian radios’, noted De Rennes. ‘The pair were also assisted in their escapades by two elderly brothers whose expertise in all things offshore allowed them to minimise their tax liabilities whilst also providing an impressive range of running gags about their misfortunes whilst in the Navy.’ 'The public are rightly asking how the Trotters were able to continue their deception for so long?’. Said De Rennes. ‘But I’d turn the question back on the public. At the height of their popularity – the Christmas special in 1988 – it seems that 24.2 million people appear to have been in the know about their avoidance activities,' 'The younger brother Rodney even appears to have had an alias, being called 'Dave' on hundreds of occasions, to the mirth of many.’ Investigations are now focusing on some of the bizarre techniques used by the family to reduce tax payments for themselves and others. These include an elaborate shell company specialising in destroying expensive home furnishings, such as chandeliers, and bogus personal injury claims for accidents including falling through a bar. No-one from the family was available for comment today, although a number of sightings of the couple, dressed in Batman and Robin costumes, have been reported on UK Gold.