According to the financial police, two criminal groups with different activities are involved in the illegal activity. Iron scrap dealers made fake purchases from companies based in the Czech Republic and Slovenia, whose names the police did not reveal. In this way they obtained documents and certificates. They used the documents to prove the origin of scrap iron from companies doing business in the gray economy. In addition, scrap does not fall into the category of waste and can be sold to other companies. According to the police, the men investigated in this way since 2013 reported no sales of 150,000 tons of scrap metal.
Due to fictitious transactions, Italian companies sent large payments to Czech and Slovenian banks, but at the same time, according to the police, they had trouble returning the money to Italy. The alliance was with Chinese businessmen, who took advantage of the black textile trade, to help them in this. Under the scheme, Czech and Slovenian companies sent payments to China for imports of fictitious metals. After that, the Chinese businessmen paid the Italians the amounts sent in cash.
According to the police, the fraud investigation was very painstaking. “Without wiretapping, surveillance and especially without the use of small cameras, we would not be able to detect this mechanism,” said Colonel Stefano Commentucci, Pordenone’s financial police chief.
According to the police, investigators issued fake invoices worth 309 million euros (7.9 billion kroner) and were able to send 150 million euros to China. Investigators have arrested five people and 50 others are investigating. They also confiscated funds worth 66 million euros (about 1.7 billion kroner). According to investigators, the activities were coordinated by five men from northeastern Italy.
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