Tax Cobra Detects 2 Cases of Tax-related Fraud Worth Total of €58 mn

Tax Cobra reports on discovery of two tax-related crimes (photo by TASR)

Bratislava, November 10 (TASR) – The ‘Tax Cobra’ tax enforcement unit has discovered fictitious trading in reinforced steel and poultry, Police Corps President Tibor Gaspar and Financial Administration chief Frantisek Imrecze told a news conference in Bratislava on Thursday.

In the first case the total damage resulting from tax fraud is estimated at €15 million, while the figure even reaches €43 million in the second. Charges have been pressed against dozens of people.

The first case, called ‘Roxor’, involves the unlawful drawing of excessive VAT deductions and reductions in tax duty itself via fictitious transactions involving reinforced steel. “In this case a coordinated network of 17 trading companies from the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia was establishing illogical and fictitious relations in order to gain unlawful tax benefits,” said Imrecze.

These illegal activities were conducted between 2011-13. In order to detect the fraud, 58 tax inspections were carried out, with 61 inspectors engaged in them, said Imrecze.

The police began taking action in the case back in January 2013. A joint investigation team was later formed in cooperation with the Czech police, as the goods chiefly headed to the Czech Republic. On November 7, 2016 the police detained 30 people, although two suspects slipped the net.

“A total of 32 people have been accused in this case, of which 23 are Slovaks and nine are Czechs,” said Gaspar. The people concerned have been charged with a tax-related crime and may end up spending 7-12 years in jail.

The second case, called ‘Poultry’, concerns a retail chain that was created for fictitious trading in poultry, pork, beef and soya. It was a coordinated network of trading companies from Poland and Slovakia that carried out illegal activities between 2012-15.

In this case 66 tax inspections were conducted, with 68 inspectors taking part. “The case is interesting chiefly due to the high level of financial damage. The total sum of excessive deductions saved is €3.8 million, while the total estimated tax damages are worth €43 million,” stated Imrecze.

The police launched the investigation into this case in January 2014, and charges were pressed against four people this October. The charges concern tax and insurance premium reductions along with tax-related fraud, and the accused in this case could also be imprisoned for 7-12 years.