The Financial Directorate and the Police Corps have prevented two cases of tax evasion amounting to €5 million based on fictitious trades in commodities carried out by large companies with significant market shares, Finance Minister Peter Kažimír said at a press conference on Thursday, November 29.
"It's appropriate to use the word 'stealing'," said Kažimír, as quoted by the TASR newswire, adding that an additional €27.5 million in tax will be assessed for the companies in total. He refused to name the companies.
In the first case codenamed 'Sugar', eleven taxable entities allegedly participated in a carousel fraud (or a so-called missing trader fraud). They traded in various commodities such as sugar, vegetable oil and coffee. Four people were arrested during the police action. Another four have been accused of tax evasion, said Police Corps president Tibor Gašpar, adding that they could face up to 12 years in jail.
The second case under the codename 'Grain' was defined as organised crime. Five people from Hungary aged 22-51 have been charged. The number of companies involved in the frauds reached 64 in total: 42 from abroad and 22 from Slovakia. They were allegedly trading in various agricultural commodities. One of the companies reportedly has a significant market share in the agriculture sector.
According to Kažimír, firms responsible for tax evasion represent one of the biggest problems in Slovakia's business environment. "It must be emphasised and remembered that such companies, such respectable companies, which really have enjoyed the respect of the public so far, are considerably deforming the business and competitive environment," he added.
Sources: TASR, SITA
Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská from press reports
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