A POLICE investigator has charged 19 people with a value-added tax (VAT) fraud of Sk750 million (€19 million) and with forming a criminal group, the news wire TASR wrote.
Eleven people have been detained, four others are known to be outside Slovakia, and others are at large, the police said.
The group operated through at least 15 companies all around Slovakia, registering them as VAT payers. However, executive agents at the companies were fabricating invoices for purchases that were never made.
The accused also organised cashless transactions among particular companies to create documents aimed to mislead tax authorities.
When tax bodies acknowledged the excessive VAT payment, the companies received at least Sk635 million (€16 million) in refunds, but a second inspection halted the payment of a further Sk121 million (€3 million) to the companies.
The police cooperated with the Customs Directorate and the Central Tax Directorate during the investigation. If convicted, the accused may face up to 12 years in prison.
Compiled by Beata Balogová from press reports
The Slovak Spectator cannot vouch for the accuracy of the information presented in its Flash News postings.
6. Jul 2004 at 10:02