Crime, EU – Baltic States, Financial Services, Latvia, Legislation, Lithuania

International Internet Magazine. Baltic States news & analytics Wednesday, 23.09.2020, 16:08

Latvian Financial Police in cooperation with Lithuanian colleagues break up two VAT fraud rings

BC, Riga, 20.01.2017.Print version
The Financial Police under the Latvian State Revenue Service has caught two gangs, who had been operating for nearly two years, causing great losses to the national budget through value-added tax (VAT) fraud, the State Revenue Service said LETA/BNS.

One group of fraudsters was importing household appliances from Poland and used several shell companies to evade paying VAT.

The other group was importing electric appliances from Poland through several related Lithuanian companies and selling them to related Latvian companies which resold the equipment back to Lithuania - it is the so-called carousel fraud.

The investigation established that eight real companies and 40 businesses that appear to be shell companies were involved in the VAT fraud schemes.

During the pre-trial investigation at the end of 2016 the Latvian Financial Police conducted searches at 46 locations - homes, offices and cars of the suspects - in different Latvian towns and found important evidence about their crimes. Altogether six persons were detained. The operation was coordinated with the Lithuanian colleagues, so that the Lithuanian participants of the VAT fraud scheme were apprehended at the same time as the fraudsters in Latvia.

The investigators are yet to establish the exact amount of the loss to the Latvian national budget through the VAT fraud schemes.

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