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EPPO investigation into cross-border VAT fraud with estimated damages of €32 million: 61 searches in 10 countries and 5 arrests

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Operation Display took place today in 10 EU Member States (Austria, Bulgaria, Czechia, Estonia, Germany, Hungary, Lithuania, the Netherlands, Slovakia and Slovenia), within the framework of an investigation into cross-border VAT fraud by the European Public Prosecutor’s Office (EPPO) in Munich. 61 searches of business premises and the homes of people directly linked to them were carried out, and five people were arrested in Czechia, Bulgaria and Slovakia. The criminal activity of the group behind the cross-border VAT fraud scheme led to estimated damages of €32 million.

The investigation into the missing trader intra-community fraud scheme began in 2021, shortly after the start of the EPPO’s operations. This is the third action day of the investigation, and it is the first time that suspects have been arrested. During the first two action days, AirPods with a value of €5.2 million have been secured. The goal is to gather evidence and uncover more information about the organised criminal group trading small electronic goods from Germany and selling them via so-called missing traders all over Europe.

This action could not have happened without the support of the German tax investigation units in Chemnitz, Würzburg, Nuremberg and Berlin.