13 Nabbed in Bulgaria for Large-scale VAT Fraud

Crime | December 5, 2012, Wednesday // 15:11
13 Busted in Bulgaria for Large-scale VAT Fraud: 13 Nabbed in Bulgaria for Large-scale VAT Fraud 14 gas stations, offices, and homes have been raided during the special operation in Bulgaria in busting a large-scale VAT fraud scam. File photo

Bulgaria's Main Directorate for Combatting Organized Crime, GDBOP, and the National Revenue Agency, NRA, have busted a scam for large–scale syphoning of Value Added Tax, VAT, from fuel trade.

13 people have been arrested on suspicions they have drained BGN 12 M from State coffers.

The special police operation has been monitored by the Specialized Anti-mafia Prosecutor's Office, and has taken place in the capital Sofia and the western city of Pernik, the Interior Ministry reports.

The fuels were imported from Greece and after paying the excise duty, the perpetrators have conducted a large number of fake deals to avoid paying VAT, in using a "chain of companies" divided in 3 groups – missing merchants, buffers, and brokers, as the police has dubbed them. The latter benefited from the unpaid VAT.

Under the scam, a company could have acted in 3 consecutive tax periods as a fuel sales merchant which has paid VAT, having perfect tax documentation, and then as a buffer, turning at the end into the business that has purchased the fuel.

14 gas stations, offices, and homes have been raided during the special operation.

18 metric tons of undocumented fuels have been found in just one gas station.

8 Sofia residents, most with criminal records, have been arrested. The others are 3 people from Pernik, one from the northern city of Montana, and one from the southern city of Blagoevgrad.

The investigation is ongoing.

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Tags: special police operation, Bulgaria, VAT, fraud, scam, sofia, Pernik, fuel, fuels, syphoning, GDBOP, NRA, Proescutor's Office, anti-mafia
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