June 18, 2018

Tax fraud and money laundering

 International coordinated action against tax fraud and money laundering

 Yesterday, police, tax and judicial authorities from four Member States and Australia took part in an action day against a group of individuals and companies suspected of tax fraud and money laundering.

The joint action was initiated by the Dutch Public Prosecution Service in cooperation with the FIOD, the criminal investigation service of the Dutch Tax and Customs Administration. Arrests were made in the involved countries, suspects were questioned, and searches and seizures were carried out. The hearing of witnesses is ongoing.

An investigation into holders of suspicious bank accounts and facilitators was commenced by the Dutch authorities in 2016. Germany, France, HM Revenue & Customs from the UK and Australia also opened their own investigations. The independent investigations gathered evidence and analysed a huge amount of data. The undeclared assets hidden within offshore accounts and policies are estimated in the millions of euros.

Eurojust held three coordination meetings, attended by participants from the involved States, to share information and devise a strategy for the action day. More actions are expected in the coming weeks. International cooperation will be intensified, and the roles that possible service providers have played will be examined.

International cooperation, improved tax transparency and the suspending of bank secrecy laws help to detect tax fraud.

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