(Agerpres (Romania) Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) March 14--BUCHAREST -- Ten persons involved in a case of tax evasion and marketing of spoiled meat were remanded in custody, following two rulings passed by Bucharest Court and Bucharest Court of Appeal.
The ten persons were detained by the prosecutors with the Directorate for the Investigation of Organised Crime and Terrorism (DIICOT) and then taken to court to decide their being taken in custody; they are Andrei Sileanu, Sorin Selesiu, Nicolae Marius Onica, Cezar Linca, Alexei Botan, Mansour Mah-D, Gheorghe Nica, Nicolae Sandu, Vasile Cucu and Dorian Botea.
The DIICOT prosecutors, along with judicial police officers, on Wednesday conducted 102 home searches in 18 counties, as part of actions aimed at dismantling two groups consisting of 80 people, specialized in tax evasion, money laundering, selling spoiled products and influence peddling.
According to DIICOT, the members of the crime rings purchased, via commercial companies in Romania, mainly meat and eggs from European Union countries: the Netherlands, Poland, Britain, Germany, without paying the VAT- according to the law (a real operation listed in accounting documents), with the goods being subsequently sold to end-users by adding the VAT.
Following the real acquisition of goods from other EU member states, the members of the ring registered fictitious deliveries to 'ghost' companies from other EU states, companies coordinated by other gang members yet to be identified.
The Romanian merchandise was delivered on paperwork only to Bulgaria, Hungary or Cyprus, so that the Romanian firms should not pay the VAT, when in fact the meat was sold on the Romanian market without recording it in the accountancy papers.
There is also the suspicion that the ring is procuring the merchandise from the EU space without paying the VAT (from the Netherlands, Poland, Britain, Germany) directly via 'ghost' firms and is selling it illegally to the domestic market for a price close to the post-VAT meat value, however much below the market price, thus putting unfair competition, while not breaking the laws.
The investigators say there are suspicions that the spoiled products were sent to the slaughter houses to be processed and mixed with other products, that were then marketed and that the spoiled meat products were also sent to a catering firm owned by the wife of one of the ring members.
After the DIICOT probe began, the inspectors of the National Authority for Consumer Protection (ANPC) decided to recall 229 tons of meat and meat products from sale and impose fines worth 71,500 lei on the economic operators as part of checks carried out on Wednesday.
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