European prosecutors arrest five in Czech Republic, Bulgaria, Slovakia in probe into VAT fraud

The European Public Prosecutor’s Office (EPPO) said that it carried out an operation in 10 EU countries on January 24 as part of an investigation into cross-border VAT fraud estimated to have caused 31 million euro damage.

Five people were arrested in Czech Republic, Bulgaria and Slovakia, EPPO said.

Operation Display took place in Austria, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Estonia, Germany, Hungary, Lithuania, the Netherlands, Slovakia and Slovenia, within the framework of an investigation by EPPO in Munich.

Sixty-one searches of business premises and the homes of people directly linked to them were carried out, EPPO said.

The investigation into the missing trader intra-community fraud scheme began in 2021, shortly after the start of the EPPO’s operations.

This is the third action day of the investigation, and it is the first time that suspects have been arrested.

During the first two action days, AirPods with a value of 5.2 million euro have been secured.

The goal is to gather evidence and uncover more information about the organised criminal group trading small electronic goods from Germany and selling them via so-called missing traders all over Europe.

“This action could not have happened without the support of the German tax investigation units in Chemnitz, Würzburg,” Nuremberg and Berlin, EPPO said.

(Archive photo: Bulgarian Interior Ministry press centre)

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