Investigators of the Hungarian tax authority (NAV) have busted a crime ring charged with defrauding the state of nearly four billion forints (EUR 12.0m) of VAT, NAV said in a statement on Friday.
The ring imported mobile phones from Austria without paying the VAT on imports and then reclaimed VAT after the sales, NAV said.
As part of a four-day international operation, NAV special units arrested nine people allegedly connected to the gang based in Pécs, in southern Hungary.
The investigators seized luxury cars, real estate, bank accounts and stakes in businesses valued at 1.7 billion forints. They also found 15 million forints in cash during the house search and 140 million in a bank safe, the statement said.
The suspects are being investigated on charges of defrauding the state of especially large amounts, a crime punishable with up to 20 years in prison, the statement said.