The anti-fraud department of tax authority ANAF has unveiled a massive fraud scheme involving imports of home appliances that got on the shelves of large retailers in Romania, which was coordinated through a network of firms set up by Chinese citizens.
Authorities say the shareholders have created 15 companies to avoid paying profit tax and VAT for goods such as LCD televisions sets and air conditioning systems.
They appliances would get into the EU through Greece’s Piraeus Port and through successive transactions get sold to large retail chains in Romania, creating a loss of around EUR 9 million to the state budget.
“For recovering the loss, anti-fraud inspectors have blocked the firm’s accounts, sealed warehouses containing goods worth around RON 8 million (e.n. EUR 1.7 million) and implemented precautionary measures on third parties (Metro, Altex, Auchan, Dedeman, Domo, Carrefour, Selgros and Bricostore), through garnishment of sums due to the state budget by the investigated company,” said the anti-fraud department in a statement.
The department was set up in November 2013 and investigates serious tax offences, as part of a wider government effort to clamp down on tax evasion, estimated at around EUR 30 billion.
Finance minister Daniel Chitoiu said last November the new heads of the department were tasked with raising up to EUR 1 billion in fresh funds to the budget by June 2014.