Money laundering widespread in the Dutch horse-trading business, Tax Authorities say
Tax Authorities in the Netherlands have missed out on around 100 million euros due to money laundering in the horse-trading industry, the AD reported.
The Financial Intelligence Unit uncovered several suspicious transactions in the equestrian industry. Authorities have had their eye on the horse industry for years, due to the dubious money flow.
The direction of the money flow is often hard to trace and there is a lack of regulation, an examination by the Tax Authorities of roughly two hundred files showed. This makes the billion-euro industry susceptible to fraudulent practices.
Million-euro deals are sometimes made with just a handshake and without a contract. It is also often not clear who is the owner of a horse. Breeders, riders, brokers and other entrepreneurs in the horse trade sometimes use foreign bank accounts in tax havens to avoid paying taxes in the Netherlands.
The triangle Eindhoven, Brussel and Aken attracts especially wealthy Americans and royals from the Middle East due to its top position in the international horse trade.
Spanish horse trader Javier S. who had a complex in Valkenswaard was sentenced to nine months in prison for laundering millions of euros.