The operation involved over 300 police officers and financial investigators
The Hungarian National Tax and Customs Administration has pounced on an organized criminal group involved in money laundering and VAT fraud. These activities led to tax losses of up to €8.2 million from the state’s budget.
The organized criminal group used missing traders who were then asked to perform various services in Croatia and Hungary. The companies did not have the necessary means to offer services seeing that they had no premises, equipment, or employees.
The firms transferred the funds gained monthly to the missing traders. These funds were then withdrawn and transferred in cash to the company initiating the funds’ transfers. This mode of operation, commonly referred to as ‘invoice mills’ has gained more popularity in the European Union.
During the operation, 100 searches were carried out in Croatia and Hungary. 9 suspects were also arrested including the OCS leader and two associates. Cash and properties worth €4.16 million were seized and several bank accounts were frozen.
Europol facilitated the exchange of secure information, organizing the meeting, the provision of analytical support, and the coordination of operational activities. To facilitate real-time exchange of information, Europol set up a mobile office not forgetting the provision of specialized support in the extraction of data from the mobile phones.
We’ve reported that Europol busted a major investment fraud network.