Prague, Feb 2 (CTK) – The Czech Kobra (Cobra) special police unit fighting serious financial crime has prevented tax evasion amounting to 4.1 billion crowns in total since its establishment in June 2014, Police President Tomas Tuhy told reporters on Tuesday.
During the first year alone, Cobra prevented tax evasion worth 1.9 billion crowns in total.
Tuhy said the sum included, for instance, the money seized from criminal activities.
In 2014, Cobra seized 1.4 billion crowns and last year about 1.9 billion crowns on the central level. The regional Cobra, which was formed at the beginning of 2015, marred criminal activities worth 847 million crowns.
Forty policemen at the Police Presidium and further dozens of people in the regions look into tax evasion within the Cobra team, Tuhy noted.
“The establishment of the tax Cobra has proved to be the right and efficient step taken by the government in the fight against tax evasion and tax crime. I am glad that apart from the central tax Cobra, the newly established regional Cobra has been working very well on uncovering crime. In the first year, it prevented frauds for hundreds of millions of crowns,” Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka (Social Democrats, CSSD) said.
Along with the system of reverse charge, Cobra is the most efficient way of gaining the unpaid tax back to the state budget and preventing frauds, Finance Minister Andrej Babis (ANO) said.
The team, operating under the anti-corruption police, is comprised of experts from the police and the financial and customs authorities.
The Czech Cobra was formed on the basis of experience from the neighbouring Slovakia where such a team under the same name had been working since 2012.
The Cobra squad is to expand in the years to come under the concept of the Czech police development in 2016-2020.