Tax office NAV (Nemzeti Adó- és Vámhivatal) with the help of the national toll payment services company NÚSZ (Nemzeti Útdíjfizetési Szolgáltató Zrt.) has uncovered a series of scams worth several billion forints committed by freight forwarders, NAV’s criminal deputy director said on Thursday.
The analysis of databases received from NUSZ revealed violations that appeared to have been committed by independent companies but in reality they were all linked to an organised criminal group, Péter Zámbó told a press conference.
The freight forwarders in question failed to pay their public contributions and tolls which enabled them to offer their services nearly 20 percent cheaper, he said. The fines imposed as a result of unpaid tolls between 2016 and 2018 totalled 3.5 billion forints (EUR 10.9m) but the forwarders involved companies without assets in order to avoid payment. Additionally, they failed to pay 129 million forints worth of VAT, corporate tax and contributions linked to employment, Zámbó said.
After six months of investigations, the authorities held 16 house searches and seized evidence including the companies’ books and electronic correspondence.
A total of 132 lorries and 12 luxury cars were also seized along with significant deposits held in bank accounts in Hungary and Slovakia. The total value of the assets seized is 500 million forints, he added.
Two people have been placed under house arrest and the authorities are continuing the search for further assets that can be seized. If convicted, the perpetrators face up to 20 years in prison, he said.
Reducing Hungary’s main VAT rate by two percentage points to 25 per cent would result in “many hundreds of billions of forints” of lost budget revenue, András Tállai, the deputy finance minister, said, read more HERE.