The Netherlands’ Fiscal Information and Investigation Service (FIOD) has arrested six individuals – five men and a woman – in a criminal investigation related to forgery, money laundering and tax fraud. The FIOD also conducted twelve searches during the investigation.
The primary suspect in the investigation is a 64-year-old Wateringen resident, suspected to be involved in forgery and money laundering. The other suspects were allegedly involved in filing of false sales tax returns. During the raids in the suspects’ residential and business premises in Amsterdam, Diemen and Wateringen, the FIOD seized physical and digital administration, homes, vehicles, bank accounts and over 600,000 euros ($725,828) in cash.
The FIOD began this criminal investigation after the tax authorities reported irregular behavior. The primary suspect provided fake invoices to numerous clothing business owners. These traders then paid him millions of euros, most of which he withdrew in cash. He retained a percentage of the fake invoice value as compensation. He returned the remaining amount to the traders in cash since there was no actual exchange of clothing merchandise. Meanwhile, the clothing traders were able to file incorrect tax returns and illegally claim back sales tax from the tax authorities on unsold clothing. The authorities have suffered a loss of over 6 million euros ($7.3m) as a result of this tax fraud.