€123m International tax fraud ring investigated

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The Public Prosecution Authority (OM) is investigating hundreds of transactions in which residents from other EU countries have evaded taxes via The Netherlands. According to confidential criminal files obtained by the Financieel Dagblad, the OM has 26 suspects in sight. 

The list of suspects is made up of 11 persons and five enterprises. These tax evaders used so-called flow-through companies to whitewash €123 million.

According to the OM, the ring-leader in this operation is a 54-year-old Dutch man living in Dubai, Erwin de Ruiter. He tells the FD his story under his name and epithet. He is suspected of leading a trust company in Amsterdam, through which the fake transactions were made.

He denies all claims against him, saying that the reports filed against him were part of a business conflict with an old business partner of an office in Amsterdam. "I have been living outside The Netherlands since 20013. I have nothing to do with the daily state of affairs inside that Amsterdam office."

The OM, in the criminal court case branded 'Trust EU', has their sights on 11 suspect individuals and 15 suspect ventures. Residents from various EU countries may have been able to evade a total of €123 million in taxes via The Netherlands.

De Ruiter says that it is remarkable that the OM is occupying itself with a service that was offered not only by trust offices but also tax advisors and accountants. "Money from other EU-countries has been funneled to tax havens via flow-through companies in the last years", he tells the FD. "The Netherlands Tax Administration Service knew about it."

According to the Ministry of Finance, the so-called flow-through companies are, since June 2012, only allowed to be offered by parties with a trust license from supervisor De Nederlandsche Bank.