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Budapest, January 20 (MTI) – Hungary’s National Tax and Customs Authority (NAV) could wind up an investigation of an 18 billion forint (EUR 57m) VAT fraud involving a number of foreign-owned companies at the beginning of February, daily Magyar Idok said on Wednesday.

Criminal procedures have been launched against 33 suspects in the probe, a NAV spokesman told the paper.

Among the names that have come up in the case are the local unit of US agribusiness Bunge and Tamas Welsz, a private individual who had confidential ties with the Socialists and who died under mysterious circumstances, the paper said.

According to the paper Bunge alerted NAV about a possible VAT fraud.

The investigation involves several Hungarian and Slovakian companies that traded almost 400,000 tonnes of sunflower and rapeseed, mostly through fictitious transactions, and reclaimed the VAT on the purchases between 2009 and 2012, the paper said.

The paper noted a connection between the VAT fraud and a ban on travel to the United States placed on a number of Hungarian citizens, among them the former head of NAV, Ildiko Vida, on suspicion of corruption.

Agribusinesses Cargill and Glencore have also been scrutinised by NAV, according to press reports, the paper said.


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