Wednesday, 23 April 2014

No custody for tax evasion suspects, court rules

ČTK |
10 December 2012

Prague, Dec 8 (CTK) - All eight suspects whom the Czech police on Thursday charged with huge tax evasion in import of fuel from Germany and Austria will be investigated at liberty as the court has not met the state attorney's request that four of them be taken into custody, Lenka Bradacova told CTK Saturday.

Bradacova, high state attorney in Prague, said her office does not agree with the court's decision but has to respect it.

The damage incurred to the state is estimated at 1.25 billion crowns.

Bradacova said the supervising state attorney asked for four suspects to be taken into custody because they could approach witnesses or leave the Czech Republic.

If convicted, the suspects can be sentenced to five to ten years in prison.

On Friday, anti-corruption police spokesman Jaroslav Ibehej described the case as one of the biggest uncovered cases of tax evasion in the history of the Czech police.

Detectives from the Squad for Uncovering of Corruption and Financial Crime uncovered a sophisticated structure of collaborating people who imported petrol and diesel oil from Germany and Austria, Ibehej said.

The police detained 11 persons, eight of whom were charged with tax evasion and money laundering, he added.

The suspects established trading companies by means of stooges through which they were purchasing fuel without VAT between summer 2010 and spring 2012. Later, they were reselling it to clients with the VAT, Ibehej said.

In home searches, the detectives seized eight luxurious cars, including one Ferrari, bills of exchange worth several million crowns, about 3.5 million crowns in cash and another 12 million crowns at bank accounts, he added.

($1=19.527 crowns)

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