Directorate for Investigating Organized Crime and Terrorism (DIICOT) prosecutors conducted 31 searches in Botosani, Prahova, Constanta, Calarasi, Dolj, Bacau and Mures Counties in order to dismantle an organized crime group consisting of 40 Romanians and Moldovans specializing in fraud and tax evasion on the grains market. 47 persons were taken in for hearings at DIICOT’s headquarters in Botosani. The damages incurred are so far estimated at EUR 500,000.
According to a communiqué quoted by realitatea.net, 12 searches were conducted in Botosani County, 8 in Prahova, 3 in Constanta, 4 in Calarasi, 2 in Dolj, 1 in Bacau and 1 in Targu Mures. The members of the organized crime group were buying grains from farmers by paying with cash and using false bordereaux. The group was then using false transport documents and was delivering the grains to large grain procurement centres through companies its members controlled.
The proceeds were wired into the companies’ accounts from where they were immediately accessed by the members of the group. The prosecutors state that more than 30 companies were created for this purpose, being used for a short while, accumulating debts consisting of unpaid VAT and profit taxes and then closing down. The direct consequence was tax evasion.
Another manner in which the group acted consisted of recruiting new members, mainly Moldovan citizens, and determining them to sign documents for the setting up or takeover of fictitious companies that the group’s members used to commit their crimes. After a short while the companies’ headquarters were fictitiously changed and their accounting documents were destroyed in order to dodge the taxes owed to the state.