31 May 2018
Today, the representatives of the judicial authorities of Italy and Poland, as well as the National Members for Italy and Poland at Eurojust, held a coordination meeting to enhance the implementation of the first joint investigation team (JIT) agreement ever signed between the two Member States concerned, which will assist in coordinating the national authorities’ investigations into a large-scale case of excise fraud, involving evasion of alcohol duty.
According to the investigations in Italy and Poland, the members of an organised crime group (OCG) have been importing to Italy industrial alcohol of chemical origin from Poland, to which no excise duty applies. The alcohol was then sold on the Italian market as liquor for consumption, although the false documentation accompanying it indicated that it was produced for other uses, such as for disinfection purposes. The analysis of some alcohol already seized confirmed that the imported goods were indeed dangerous for human consumption. The OCG has been profiting from this fraud by illegally avoiding paying the excise duty applicable to liquor.
The goal of this JIT is to ensure the swift progress of the parallel ongoing investigations through coordinated actions and the exchange of case-related information and evidence, thus dismantling the transnational OCG and bringing its members to justice. Eurojust will facilitate the functioning of this JIT and the cooperation between Italy and Poland by providing the necessary financial and logistical support.