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EPPO Munich investigation into VAT carousel fraud with estimated tax losses of €80 million – arrest and searches in Romania

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An investigation by the European Public Prosecutor’s Office (EPPO) in Munich has led to the discovery of a VAT carousel fraud scheme involving 21 suspects, with activities in Germany, Italy, Malta, Portugal, Romania, Sweden and the UK. Two of the suspects, who were responsible for organising the paperwork of the criminal activity, are based in Romania and one of them was arrested yesterday. Searches were simultaneously carried out and data, e-mails, chats and paperwork were successfully collected. 

The core of the criminal activity of the organised crime group was located in Berlin and Leipzig (Germany), where the main suspects organised a VAT carousel fraud scheme. The 21 suspects created fake invoices for Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) services, and then claimed the VAT from the tax authorities. As a result, they caused the German treasury estimated tax losses of €80 million.