Criminal network rounded up

18th March 2008, Comments 0 comments

Antwerp judicial authorities have uncovered a fraudulent network of internet and telephone shops after two years of intensive detective work.

Antwerp judicial authorities have uncovered a fraudulent network of internet and telephone shops after two years of intensive detective work. The fraud is estimated to have cost the Belgian treasury some €25 million. 27 suspects have been arrested.

The detectives were keeping an eye on many of the internet and telephone shops that have sprung up in recent years in the big cities. Under the code name Tam Tam, the police and social inspection department carried out several raids on the shops which are also night shops.

Many of the shops were not working in accordance with the law and several were closed down. Many of the owners just opened a new shop at a different address.

To get to the very bottom of the problem, the Antwerp judicial authorities investigated the network behind the shops.

The investigations lead to a fraud circuit via Spanish post office box companies. The companies were being used as a front to sell call time to internet/telephone shops in Belgium.

Belgian accountants involved

Among the 27 suspects arrested are 4 Pakistanis. Together with 2 Belgian accountants, they formed the core of the gang. 21 managers of internet/telephone shops were also arrested.

The public prosecutor is investigating a number of other fraud circuits and hopes to have results soon.

flandersnews.be 

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