Bulgaria Police Uncover Tax Fraud Worth over BGN 30 M
A nationwide operation of the Specialized Prosecutor's Office and the State Agency for National Security (DANS) has uncovered tax fraud worth over BGN 30 M.
Representatives of the prosecuting authority explained at a press conference on Friday that three crime groups had been neutralized as a result of the operation.
The prosecutors, as cited by the Focus news agency, informed that a total of 11 of the 27 people detained during the operation remained in custody.
The large-scale nationwide operation was conducted in connection with three related pre-trial proceedings involving tax crimes.
The authorities conducted over 50 searches and seizures on the territory of the country, confiscating documents, stamps, notebooks of the companies and computers. The most important "find" was a stack of invoices discovered in a garage in Sofia.
One of the crime rings supplied companies with official documents with fraudulent content.
DANS Chair Vladimir Pisanchev said that the extent of damages incurred to the state coffers exceeded the annual budget of DANS for 2014.
He suggested that the fraud could not have been committed without the assistance of government officials.
Daniela Popova, appellate prosecutor, made clear that Thursday's search operations at the Sofia Municipality and the Municipal Bank were unrelated to the tax fraud bust.
She informed that no municipal councilors had been detained during yesterday's operation, adding that over 40 witnesses had been examined and the authorities were yet to analyze the data and decide who would face charges.
Nikolay Naydenov, deputy appellate prosecutor, said that the probes had uncovered damages worth over BGN 30 M to the state coffers.
He explained that the crimes had been committed for a period of one year back, adding that the raids had uncovered invoices worth BGN 54 M for preceding periods.
Naydenov assured that no political figures were involved in the companies which had committed tax fraud.
One of the companies involved in the tax fraud scheme specialized in trade in sugar and powdered milk while another firm operated in the fuel business.
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