Hungarian authorities break up EUR 8 mln VAT fraud scheme

Thursday 1 April 2021 09:19 CET | News

The Hungarian National Tax and Customs Administration (NTCA) has dismantled an organised criminal group (OCG) suspected of facilitating VAT fraud and money laundering.

The criminal activities caused more than EUR 8.2 million in tax loss to the Hungarian state budget. The OCG used ‘missing traders’ based in Hungary and Croatia. Using fictitious contracts, the ‘missing traders’ were commissioned to perform services, which they did not have the necessary means to perform. The companies were found to have no employees, equipment, or premises.

As part of the scheme, the beneficiary companies received fictitious invoices and transferred funds to the ‘missing traders’ on a monthly basis. The criminal proceeds were then withdrawn and returned in cash to the representatives of the company initiating the transfer. This modus operandi, known as ‘invoice mills’, is increasingly common in the European Union.

Europol supported the investigation by facilitating the secure information exchange, providing analytical support, organising operational meetings, and coordinating the operational activities. A Europol mobile office was deployed on the spot to facilitate in real-time the exchange of information between the participating law enforcement authorities. Europol also provided specialised support for the extraction of data from the seized mobile devices.

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Keywords: Europol, fraud detection, fraud management, money laundering
Categories: Fraud & Financial Crime
Countries: Hungary
This article is part of category

Fraud & Financial Crime