Prague, Dec 5 (CTK) – The Czech Kobra (Cobra) special police unit has proposed that tax evasion charges be levelled against 11 members of a criminal group, led by a fugitive Frenchman who is being searched for, National Centre against Organised Crime (NCOZ) spokesman Jaroslav Ibehej said in a press release on Tuesday.

The suspects caused the damage of at least 85 million crowns to the state. If convicted, they face up to ten years in prison.

According to the police, the gang members were trading in fictitious commodities and had VAT deductions paid fraudulently from tax offices.

The fictitious transactions occurred mainly between January 2008 and June 2011. The French citizen and his Czech common-law-wife organised the criminal activities, Ibehej said.

They allegedly controlled at least 55 companies into the management of which they placed stooges who had no idea about the business character of particular firms and did not keep books either.

The organisers of the criminal group created documents about the fictitious trading, mainly in computer elements and other electronics of the declared value of some 450 million crowns.

“The investigation into the case has been complicated by the fact that the mastermind and his common-law-wife fled abroad at its beginning and they have not been tracked since then. This is why an international warrant for their arrest was issued,” Ibehej said.

The couple are prosecuted as fugitives.

A joint team of the Czech police and the French customs and investigation service was formed to look into the case code-named Computer.

Detectives have sent the documentation of 17,500-page files and 46 volumes of enclosures to the Prague Municipal State Attorney’s Office.

During the investigation, the police seized property worth several million crowns.