Today, the Slovak office of the European Public Prosecutor’s Office (EPPO) led an operation in Slovakia and Czechia against four companies suspected of violating tax and customs regulations when importing consumer goods from third (non-EU) countries. The total damages are estimated at €48 million.
During the operation, the Slovak Financial Administration Criminal Office (Kriminálny úrad finančnej správy) searched houses and premises of companies that might hold evidence relevant to the case.
These four companies used Slovak importers’ representatives to declare the importation of goods from third (non-EU) countries to the EU. The customs procedure was therefore performed in Slovakia.
The value of the goods was deliberately under-estimated and the goods were declared under a transit regime that reduced customs charges and made them exempt from VAT payments. However, the goods were then transported to other final destinations, as declared.
The damage caused by the VAT evasion is estimated at around €30 million, and the damage caused by the customs evasion is estimated at around €18 million.
The investigation on this case continues and further information on it will be shared in the coming months.