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Police accuse executive of closely watched FAU company

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Ostrava, North Moravia, March 28 (CTK) – The Czech police have levelled tax evasion accusations against Vojtech Csabi, the executive of the FAU firm that came to the limelight within a political controversy over the Financial Administration’s (FS) property-freezing orders last year, Czech Radio (CRo) said on Wednesday.

Along with Csabi, several other people face accusations.

The police say an oil-trading company that is a part of FAU failed to pay VAT worth 200 million crowns a few years ago.

FAU defence lawyer Alfred Sramek told CTK that he has no information that prosecution has been launched against Csabi.

“If this is true, I find the police’s step funny. I can’t comprehend it. In my capacity as FAU’s lawyer, I am sure that the company does not owe any taxes,” Sramek said.

FAU went bankrupt last year after the FS imposed a property-freezing order on it as a step to make the firm cover its tax debt.

The FS, a body falling under the Finance Ministry, previously said it had suspected FAU of being deliberately involved in a carousel fraud including VAT evasion and fraudulent drawing of VAT reliefs.

Csabi previously told CTK that the state’s steps against FAU amount to bullying.

The FS has been exacting the unpaid tax from FAU since 2016. However, a court said last year that the imposition of the property-freezing order on FAU was unlawful, because the FS exacted VAT twice for one deal.

Last August, an audio recording appeared on an anonymous Internet account, indicating that the FS cracked down on FAU in accordance with the interest of Andrej Babis (ANO), then finance minister, who is prime minister now.

FAU owns premises within the a complex of the Precheza company in Prerov, north Moravia, which is a part of Agrofert, a giant chemical, food and agricultural holding formerly owned by Babis, who transferred it to a trust fund in early 2017 to avoid a conflict of interest.

Speculations emerged that Agrofert’s interests might have been the motive of the FS and the customs authority’s tough procedure against FAU.

Babis repeatedly dismissed having misused the financial or customs administration in his capacity as finance minister in 2013-2017.

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