Bratislava, Nov 10 (CTK) – The Slovak police and Slovak Financial Authority (SFS) have uncovered tax frauds in trading in concrete steel with the involvement of a network of firms from Slovakia, the Czech Republic, Hungary and Poland, Slovak Police President Tibor Gaspar told journalists yesterday.
Charges have been brought against 32 persons in the case which is investigated by a joint Slovak-Czech team and which relates to the tax evasion for hundreds of million crowns, Gaspar and SFS head Frantisek Imrecze said.
Gaspar said the collapsed Slovakia Steel Mills was implicated in the case as well.
Imrecze said the network of 17 businesses had tried to deprive the state of VAT within missing trader frauds between 2011 and 2013.
The SFS staff have so far uncovered tax frauds worth 11.5 million euros, while the state did not pay out more than four million euros of the sum.
Imrecze said the total tax fraud could reach 15 million euros.
“The whole fraudulent chain started with the businesses that were typical ‘missing’ traders who made the full or partial fictitious deliveries of the concrete steel to buffer companies,” Imrecze said.
“The (buffer) companies are typical of being abused for invoices used for fictitious transactions or they knew about this,” he added.
Through subsequent transactions, the deliveries of goods to the Czech Republic and back, such as via Poland to Slovakia, were registered, Imrecze said.
Gaspar said the investigation had started in 2013.
The Slovak police later conducted raids in Slovakia and established a joint international investigation team along with the Czech police.
A total of 128 Czech and Slovak police officers carried out another raid in various towns in Slovakia as well as the Czech towns of Olomouc, Zlin, Vsetin and Novy Jicin on Monday.
This was followed by the arrest of 30 people, now facing tax evasion charges, carrying seven to 12-year prison terms, Gaspar said.
Gaspar said the investigation also covered Slovakia Steel Mills, whose construction was helped by a loan provided by the Czech Export Bank in 2007.
The steel mill opened in 2011, but a year later, it ran into a serious loss. Its problems came to a head in August 2014 when the company went bust.
($1 = 24.521 Czech crowns)