European police have arrested 14 suspects from five countries on suspicion of masterminding a huge tax fraud scheme that siphoned off an estimated 300 million euros ($330 million) in taxes across the continent.
European police and justice coordination agencies Europol and Eurojust said Tuesday that key suspects in the Value Added Tax fraud scheme were arrested in raids involving more than 250 law enforcement officers. The suspects came from Britain, Spain, Germany, Poland and Belgium.
The investigation was launched by prosecutors in Germany into a ”carousel” fraud. Such frauds exploit VAT-free commerce between countries. Conspirators import goods free of tax and sell them domestically with VAT to another company, which exports the products to third country. Rather than paying VAT owed to governments, the fraudsters pocket it and disappear.