back to top

    Massive VAT Invoice Fraud Unearthed: 15 Detained in Organized Criminal Group Operation

    Fifteen individuals, including 14 suspected members of an organized criminal group, have been apprehended by the Central Investigation Bureau of Police (CBSP) and the Kujawsko-Pomorskie Voivodeship Customs Service (KAS). The arrests were made following an investigation conducted by the Pomeranian branch of the National Public Prosecutor’s Office, which revealed a sophisticated scheme involving the use of falsified VAT invoices. The group allegedly engaged in illicit activities, such as trading electronics and personal protective equipment, while manipulating the invoices to understate their tax obligations. This resulted in a staggering loss of approximately PLN 20 million for the State Treasury. The officers’ findings suggest that the group may have issued unreliable VAT invoices totaling around PLN 103 million.

    The joint operation carried out under the supervision of the Pomeranian Branch of the Department for Organised Crime and Corruption of the National Prosecutor’s Office in Gdańsk, involved police officers from the Board in Bydgoszcz of the Central Bureau of Investigation of the Police, as well as the Kujawsko-Pomorskie Customs Office in Toruń. The operation spanned several voivodships, including Kujawsko-Pomorskie, Mazowieckie, Lodzkie, Slaskie, Dolnoslaskie, and Malopolskie. During the operation, law enforcement officers seized crucial evidence, such as commercial and financial-accounting documentation, laptops, telephones, and IT data carriers. These items are currently undergoing thorough analysis as part of the ongoing investigation.

    According to investigators, the criminal network operated by establishing fictitious business entities known as “straw men” These entities would then issue unreliable invoices for various goods, including electronics and personal protective equipment associated with the COVID-19 pandemic. By manipulating these invoices, the group managed to evade taxes, resulting in a substantial depletion of the State Treasury. The investigators estimate the total amount of unreliable VAT invoices issued by the group to be approximately PLN 103 million.

    The detained individuals have been formally charged with invoice crime and participation in an organized criminal group. They appeared before the Pomeranian Branch of the Department for Organised Crime and Corruption of the National Public Prosecutor’s Office in Gdańsk for the hearing. Based on the evidence collected, three of the suspects have been provisionally arrested for a period of three months.

    The case is developing, and authorities anticipate further arrests as the investigation progresses. The authorities are committed to uncovering the full extent of criminal activities and holding all responsible parties accountable for their actions.

    More in section