Customs officials allowed a €300m fraud
Well-organized gangs carried out massive fraudulent imports of Chinese textiles and footwear to Slovakia and the UK in 2013-14. In Slovakia, they did not pay tariffs totaling €302m, and in the UK €1.9bn, revealed the EU’s anti-fraud authority OLAF. The union and individual countries split the paid tariff at a ratio of 75:25. The union may claim the unpaid tariff from Slovakia. Media allege that such massive fraud would not be possible without the cooperation of rank-and-file customs officials, as well as the customs authority’s management. The tax and customs authority FS was led by its current head František Imrecze at the time, and his deputy was Dana Meager, current Deputy Finance Minister. Peter Kažimír was, and still is, the Finance Minister. They all deny any wrongdoing. The fraudsters underreported the value of Chinese imports, and paid tariffs on the artificially low values. Experts say the customs officials must have realized that the sums were being underreported.