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Police accuse 22 people of 850-million-crown tax evasion

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Prague, April 24 (CTK) – The Czech police accused 22 people of tax evasion worth at least 850 million crowns, money laundering in foreign bank accounts and participation in an organised crime group on Tuesday, state attorney Petra Ullrichova, supervising the case, has announced on her office’s website.

The circumstances indicate that the case is connected with the previous checks of the CKD Praha DIZ engineering firm that helped build the Blanka road tunnel in Prague.

The suspects included fictitious invoices in the books of this Czech business company that they applied in their VAT and corporate income tax returns, Ullrichova, from the Prague High State Attorney’s Office, said, adding that they thereby caused tax evasion of at least 850 million crowns.

Prague High State Attorney Lenka Bradacova told CTK that 21 out of the 22 accused had been detained.

The state attorneys did not release the suspects’ names.

The server reports that police officers from the National Centre against Organised Crime (NCOZ) detained the firm’s former general director Jan Musil and manager Karel Kloboucnik.

The anti-corruption police raided the CKD Praha DIZ headquarters on suspicion of tax evasion two years ago when billionaire Petr Speychal owned the firm.

Information emerged then saying that the firm owed 791 million crowns in taxes to the state and detectives were checking whether hundreds of millions were transferred from it to tax havens.

The police detained Speychal in 2014 on suspicion of tax evasion and issuing fictitious invoices, but he was released without being charged.

Robert Wolf became the firm’s owner after Speychal.

He criticised the police raid from 2016 as an attempt to disintegrate CKD since the firm claimed extra money from Prague for its works on the Blanka tunnel. The creditors sent the firm into bankruptcy last year.

The six-km-long Blanka tunnel, the construction of which lasted eight years and cost 43 billion crowns, was finally opened in 2015, four years behind the schedule. Its costs were ten billion crowns higher than planned.

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