Prosecution Raids Offices of Vinprom Karnobat, SIS Industries, Topaz Mel
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Prosecution Raids Offices
of Vinprom Karnobat, SIS Industries,
Sofia, September 5 (BTA) - The Specialized Prosecution Office has launched investigations into large-scale tax fraud, storing excise goods with unpaid duty and money laundering by an organized crime group. Search, seizure and questioning of witnesses are taking place in offices of wine maker Vinprom Karnobat, wine and liquor maker SIS Industries and flour maker Topaz Mel.
The tax fraud was committed between 2009 and 2018. The organized criminals had real companies doctor their account books, thus becoming involved in missing trader fraud which stole large amounts of VAT from the public purse, the prosecution service said.
There is also evidence of money laundering in the same period when financial transactions were made and the origin of assets acquired through a serious premeditated offence was concealed.
On July 18, an illegal cigarette factory used by the crime gang was raided under the direction of the Specialized Prosecution Office.
The investigation is underway in Sofia, Karnobat (Southeastern Bulgaria) and the villages of Venets and Tserkovski near Karnobat.
Vinprom Karnobat owner Minyo Staikov was one of ten persons arrested during the operation, Deputy Prosecutor General Ivan Geshev told a briefing.
The case was instituted about two months ago when the Chief Directorate for Combating Organized Crime and the Specialized Prosecution Office found the illegal cigarette factory in a building owned by the son of Karnobat Mayor Ivan Dimitrov.
Geshev said Wednesday's raid was unrelated to the case brought against businessman Vetko Arabadjiev's family last week. Investigators have revised up the detriment caused by Arabadjiev's VAT fraud from the initial estimate of 700,000 leva to between 6 and 8 million leva. RY/DD