Eleven people arrested for billion zloty VAT fraud
Eleven people suspected of involvement in a PLN 1.5 billion (EUR 0.32 billion) VAT fraud have been arrested.
The arrests come after an investigation lasting almost three years by the Central Investigation Bureau of Police (CBSP) along with the National Revenue Administration (KAS) and the National Prosecutor's Office in Szczecin, Iwona Jurkiewicz, the CBSP spokeswoman, told PAP on Monday.
"The suspects are members of four organised crime groups involved in VAT fraud by issuing unreliable and false VAT invoices, as well as laundering money from this practice," she said.
"According to the findings so far, invoices worth nearly PLN 1.5 billion have been introduced into circulation, and several hundred economic entities are involved in criminal activity," Jurkiewicz added.
All the suspects were brought to the West Pomeranian Branch of the Department for Organised Crime and Corruption of the National Prosecutor's Office in Szczecin.
They have been charged with participating in the criminal activities of an organised crime group, tax fraud, issuing bogus accounting documentation and money laundering, according to the press department of the National Prosecutor's Office (PK).
"The headquarters of the companies, accounting offices and apartments were searched and documentation, data carriers and mobile phones were secured," said Justyna Pasieczynska, a spokeswoman for the National Revenue Administration (KAS).
Among those arrested is a lawyer, known only as Piotr L. The court ordered bail to be set at PLN 300,000 (EUR 64,000) and suspended his right to practice as a lawyer, the PK said.
"For the other suspects, the prosecutor applied preventive measures in the form of property sureties in the amount of up to PLN 500,000 (EUR 107,000), police supervision combined with a ban on contacting co-suspects and a ban on leaving the country," PK added.
These are the latest arrests in an investigation into four organised crime groups of a transnational nature. Since June 2020, a total of 246 suspects have been charged in the case with 22 remaining in temporary custody, PK said.
They face up to 25 years in prison.