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Sunday 26.05.2019 | Name days: Varis, Eduards, Edvards
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Petrol station network in Latvia caught performing fraudulent activities with diesel fuel

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Baltic news, News from Latvia, BNN.LV, BNN-NEWS.COM, BNN-NEWS.RUState Revenue Service’s Tax and Customs Police have uncovered and put an end to a fraudulent scheme with diesel fuel performed by some network of petrol stations in Latvia, as confirmed by the service.

According to estimates, this scheme has caused damages to the state worth more than EUR 400,000 in the form of unpaid VAT tax over the course of three months.

Investigators found out that a fuel trader with a massive network of petrol stations in Latvia was involved in the illegal scheme. There was also one company registered in Latvia at the end of 2017. This company was provided with a fuel wholesale trader license and a permit from SRS for a special VAT regime for imports of goods.

This company has imported and realized more than 2,000 tonnes of diesel fuel in Latvia since the beginning of 2018. The company was supposed to pay several hundred thousand euros of VAT for this amount of fuel. Only a couple of thousand euros were paid, however.

A typical VAT avoidance scheme was used with criminal intent. As part of this scheme, the responsibility of paying VAT to the state budget was delegated to a fictive company that had neither provided any explanations to SRS nor any documents proving transactions. The fictive company’s official is not a resident of Latvia and is not even aware of having been registered as an official in some company. Another company registered in a different EU member state was used to conceal the crime. SRS underlines that Tax and Customs Police neutralizes similar schemes on a regular basis.

A criminal process has been launched in accordance with Section 218 of the Criminal Law. In June, SRS officers performed 22 searches in offices and homes in Riga, Riga district and Rezekne.

Officers confiscated documents, data storage devices and other evidence. Investigative procedures were also performed in Estonia: people involved in the scheme were interrogated and documents associated with the fictive company were confiscated.

One person has been made a suspect and has been applied with a security measure not associated with deprivation of freedom. The person in question has a prior record of committing similar crimes.

The investigation is currently in its early stage. Because of that, no detailed information is available at this time.


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