Kosovo Tax Administration uncovers evasion scheme in the north

Kosovo Tax Administration inspectors have discovered a tax evasion scheme involving multiple businesses in northern and southern Kosovo.

The Kosovo Tax Administration, ATK, has uncovered a network of Albanian and Serb businesses collaborating in a tax evasion scheme, suspected to have emptied the public purse of millions of euros.

Raiding shell companies in northern Kosovo last week, the investigative unit of the ATK found sufficient proof for the State Prosecutor to open an investigation into the scheme. ATK suspects that shell companies in Zubin Potok were used to issue fraudulent bills to other businesses in south Kosovo, allowing them to claim tax returns.

In exclusive footage shot by the television programme Drejtesia ne Kosove, ATK inspector Murat Mehmeti, who previously blew the whistle on an “industrial scale” tax fraud scheme, and Valdet Mehmeti can be seen as they raid private houses and the offices of small businesses that supposedly sold millions of euros worth of goods to businesses in the south.

“We’ve received information from the Unit of Large Taxpayers regarding suspicions of fictive transactions. We have drafted an initial report, in which we state that we suspect that these bills are only on paper without any goods being exchanged,” Murat Mehmeti said before the raid began on Wednesday.

During the raid in four separate locations in Zubin Potok, the ATK inspectors found incriminating evidence which was transferred to the case prosecutor Sahit Tmava.

According to ATK’s findings, businesses in the north issued fictive bills for business that operate in the south of the country. Businesses in southern Kosovo claimed to have purchased goods from the north, increasing their expenses and in the process requesting exemption from taxes they owed to the state.

“In this action, we confiscated material evidence such as: USBs and other documents that prove fiscal evasion. The value of the fake bills issued is suspected to be over 4 million euros,”  reads ATK’s press release issued after the raid.

The raids in the suspected locations went calmly, although gunshots were heard in the vicinity of the locations while the raids were ongoing.

16/04/2018 - 21:30

16 April 2018 - 21:30

Prishtina Insight is a digital and print magazine published by BIRN Kosovo, an independent, non-governmental organisation. To find out more about the organization please visit the official website. Copyright © 2016 BIRN Kosovo.