The eleventh issue of Eurojust News focuses on Missing Trader Intra-Community (MTIC) fraud. MTIC fraud is a growing part of Eurojust’s casework, with 60 cases in 2012 and 89 in 2013.
Fraud accounts for substantial losses to the European Union’s budget. In his interview with Eurojust News, Algirdas Šemeta, Commissioner for Taxation, Customs, Statistics, Audit and Anti-fraud of DG TAXUD, tells us that the annual losses from cigarette smuggling alone are estimated at more than EUR 10 billion. This figure, however, is less than one-tenth of the total estimated losses to fraud across the European Union.
Although the ability to trade carbon credits has only been in existence for a short time, the market has grown quickly; trading in the European Union’s Emission Trading System (EU ETS) is estimated at approximately EUR 90 billion per year. The scope of the market provides opportunities for fraud, and, indeed, fraud in the EU ETS is already the cause of huge revenue losses for the European Union. We have included two interviews on the EU ETS in this newsletter to highlight the fact that fraud in this area exists, that it is a growing problem, and that judicial and law enforcement authorities, including Eurojust, are aware of the problem. We have interviewed Yvon Slingenberg, Head of Unit, EU ETS Implementation, DG CLIMA, and Chris Perryman, Project Manager for Focal Point MTIC, Europol. Mr Perryman estimates that from mid-2007 to the beginning of 2009, national treasuries across the European Union lost approximately EUR 5 billion to this type of fraud. But the risks do not end with fraud; money laundering schemes and cyber attacks are also occurring.
By including EU ETS fraud in this issue, we also hope to draw attention to the broad nature of MTIC fraud and demonstrate that far more is involved than traders avoiding the payment of VAT on cigarettes or fuel, important though these types of fraud may be.
Case examples involving Eurojust are provided to further illustrate several forms of MTIC fraud.
To learn about the problem from the perspective of practitioners and investigators, we have interviewed Janja Bernard Korpar, District Public Prosecutor, Republic of Slovenia, and representatives of the Hungarian National Tax and Customs Administration (NTCA).
If you have any questions or comments concerning this issue of Eurojust News or suggestions for future issues, please contact our Press and PR Service. For previous issues, please see our document library.