The Tax Agency has reported that five people have been arrested in an operation against VAT fraud in the greenhouse construction sector in the province of Almeria. The detainees -two Romanians, one Russian, and two Spanish- are accused of allegedly defrauding more than ten million euros.
"The suspects were apprehended after the Tax Agency's Inspection Area, computer audit unit, and Customs Surveillance Service carried out an investigation and raided five different addresses: two in Almeria's capital, one in Vicar, one in Roquetas de Mar, and another one in El Ejido. All the searches were authorized by the Court of Instruction No. 2 of Almeria," the Agency stated.
"The investigation phase focused on a group of consultancies that were managed by the same family group, which would use a large number of natural persons as spokespersons to form a network of companies that would irregularly bill very high amounts of money, for a short period of time, for alleged greenhouse construction work."
"The main recipient of the money was a commercial company in this sector, which used fraud to obtain abnormally low prices on the market, or which irregularly invoiced owners of agricultural holdings who, in this way, managed to reduce the amount of their VAT tax obligations."
40 financial vehicle corporations have been investigated
So far, authorities have investigated some 40 FVCs. The companies had a single partner and administrator, were newly created, had no background in the market, no assets, and had an absolute lack of real supplies. These companies could have led to a total alleged VAT fraud of more than ten million euros since 2018. According to the investigation carried out on numerous bank accounts owned by these companies, the organization would have managed to cash nearly 15 million euros in these years."
"The Customs Surveillance Unit of Almeria's Tax Agency will continue investigating to determine the identity of the rest of the criminals involved in this criminal activity. We do not rule out new arrests in the coming days," the Tax Agency stated.