UPDATED: 8. JAN 2018, AT 11:55

Police dissolve a group robbing the state through food imports

The accused group members can spend up to 12 years in prison.

Illustrative stock photoIllustrative stock photo (Source: SME)

This story was updated.

The National Criminal Agency (NAKA) dissolved an organised crime group that was stealing money from the state by importing and distributing food products from abroad. The loss was calculated at €2.45 million.

The Rajo RAIO operation took several months and culminated on November 14, when the police carried out raids in Bratislava, Dunajská Streda, Veľký Meder (both in the Trnava Region), Košice, Žilina and Tvrdošín (Žilina Region). The police laid charges against four people for tax evasion and tax fraud, the TASR newswire reported.

The group created a billing chain involving eight companies. They imported soya, rapeseed scrap and other agricultural products from Poland, Hungary and the Czech Republic. They were subsequently distributed via a network of companies to end customers, explained Police Corps President Tibor Gašpar.

The companies were formally represented by straw men, who were mostly socially dependent people. Some of them cooperate with the police.

The companies either paid no taxes to the state coffers or prepared tax returns that allowed them to either lower their taxes or ask for excessive VAT refunds, Gajdoš said, as reported by TASR.

If found guilty, the accused members of the group could spend five to 12 years in prison.

Disclaimer: We corrected a mistake in the story on January 9, 2018. In the original version authored by the TASR newswire, it was reported that the police operation was titled RAJO. This information is not correct. Its name is actually RAIO and it has nothing to do with the dairy products producer RAJO. We apologise for the mistake and the inconvenience this might have caused.

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