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Police thwart EUR 2.75bn in fraud

17 June 2005

BRUSSELS — Specialist federal police officers have thwarted crimes of fraud to the tune of EUR 2.75 billion in the past three years.

Federal Justice Minister Laurette Onkelinx and Anti-tax Fraud State Secretary Hervé Jamar presented the figures on Friday.

The results are due primarily to efforts by police aimed at preventing fraud involving BTW taxes (or VAT in English), newspaper ‘De Standaard’ reported.
A good co-operative relationship between police and the judiciary led to the good results.

However, the fight against BTW tax fraud is petering out, This is not because police efforts are less efficient, but because the most popular methods to commit fraud have been exposed.

In 2001, the federal government lost EUR 1.1 billion due to BTW fraud, but that figure was reduced to EUR 159 million in 2004. It is estimated the figure will be a little more than EUR 100 million this year.

Based on the figures from 2001 and assumptions that figure would have remained the same in the years after had police not changed tactics, authorities estimate EUR 2.75 billion in fraud has been thwarted between 2002-04.

Friday’s annual report of the federal police’s anti-financial crime unit also focused on the financing of terrorism, forgeries of euro notes and fraud with Belgian passports.

[Copyright Expatica News 2005]

Subject: Belgian news