30 arrested in 15 Spanish provinces for involvement in billion euro petrol fraud scheme

LAST UPDATED: 16 Jul, 2012 @ 17:21
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30 arrested in 15 Spanish provinces for involvement in billion euro petrol fraud scheme

By Rund Abdelfatah

POLICE have arrested 30 people across Spain for defrauding €120 million worth of fuel.

A total of 23 searches were conducted in homes and businesses of alleged fraudsters producing assets amounting to €55 million, including 79 vehicles, 209 properties, €20 million in cash and 3.5 million litres of fuel.

The 30 individuals are believed to be part of two massive criminal organisations with contacts in a wide range of European and Arab countries.

To gain the contact’s trust, they posed as prominent members of the fuel trade.

After purchasing diesel and petrol in bulk, they allegedly skirted the payment of IVA/VAT taxes, enabling them to lower prices at the pump without fear of competition.

The estimated total holdings of the bank accounts linked to these groups are over €1 billion.

The arrests mark the culmination of a police operation, officially called ‘Bashnya’, which was begun in February of last year by the National Fraud Investigating Office (ONIF).

 

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