The Hague, 20 September 2017
Yesterday, an international coordinated action by judicial and law enforcement authorities of the Netherlands, Spain and Cyprus, with the support of Eurojust, resulted in searches of 10 homes and businesses in the three Member States. Several witnesses have been interviewed. Suspects are charged with undeclared assets from 2009 to the present of more than EUR 1 000 000. Bank accounts, real estate, an automobile, watches, cash and documents were seized.
Eurojust ensured proper coordination at EU level of the national investigations, and full legal and operational assistance to all national authorities involved. To this end, Eurojust set up a coordination centre at its premises in The Hague to coordinate the joint execution of the arrests, searches and seizures in the Netherlands, Spain and Cyprus, and to facilitate the real-time exchange of information among all judicial and law enforcement officials involved in the joint operations.
These joint operations are the result of investigations into money laundering and tax fraud commenced by the Fiscal Intelligence and Investigation Service (FIOD). The Dutch authorities were alerted by the discrepancy between the deposits and withdrawals made using the debit and credit cards and the lawfully acquired and reported income. The investigations detected that the suspects used debit and credit cards issued abroad and linked to foreign bank accounts involving many Dutch and international companies to hide the sources of the funds.
International coordination and judicial cooperation in cases such as this one are essential to uncover the sophisticated cross-border tax and banking constructions. Anyone who does not declare foreign capital can be subject to a criminal investigation. Financial institutions can play an important role in reporting unusually large credit and debit transactions.
Link to press release of the Netherlands Public Prosecution Service (Openbaar Ministerie)