Prague, March 30 (CTK) – The Czech anti-corruption police have proposed charges of a seven-member group trading in alcohol that is suspected of tax evasion causing damage of 1.25 billion crowns to the state, their spokesman Jaroslav Ibehej told CTK yesterday.
The suspects sold alcoholic beverages in the country but they did not pay the excise tax.
Ibehej said the detectives handed the file on the case to the High State Attorney’s Office in Olomouc yesterday.
None of the suspects has been taken into pre-trial custody. They all face up to 10 years in prison for forming an organised crime group and three of them also face tax evasion charges.
The case is related to the case of suspected alcohol mafia boss Radek Brezina who was sentenced last December together with his seven accomplices.
Brezina was punished with 13 years in prison and his property was seized, but the verdict has not taken effect because he appealed against it. According to the prosecution, his group cheated the state of 6.4 billion crowns in 2004-2013. The court also dealt with suspected crime from 1998-2001, but it halted the prosecution.
The Czech police started focusing on the alcohol mafia after a methanol scandal that broke out in autumn 2012. More than 40 people died of methanol poisoning after drinking illegal tainted spirits and dozens suffered from serious health troubles then.