Hungarian authorities have seized cryptocurrency worth over $1 million from a criminal organization in a value-added tax (VAT) fraud case. The authorities raided 28 locations, arrested three suspects, and seized various assets tied to the group. The seized cryptocurrencies were transferred to the wallet controlled by the Hungarian tax authority.
Crypto Seized in Tax Fraud Case
The National Tax and Customs Administration of Hungary (NAV) announced Wednesday that it has seized cryptocurrency from a criminal organization that evaded paying three billion Hungarian forints ($8.2 million) in value-added tax (VAT).
NAV commandos, the Merkur Deployment Unit, and the investigators of the Western Transdanubian Criminal Directorate simultaneously raided 28 locations, arrested the suspects, and seized their illegally acquired assets and cryptocurrency worth nearly 420 million forints ($1.15 million). Without providing specific details, the NAV stated that the seized cryptocurrencies were transferred to a specially created crypto wallet that it controls.
The tax authority explained that members of the criminal organization acquired smartphones, tablets, solar panels, and other electronic devices from several countries in the European Union. They avoided paying VAT after importing the products by setting up shell companies that changed every couple of months, the NAV described, adding that this allowed the fraudsters to sell electronic devices to various wholesalers and resellers at favorable prices.
“By selling information communication devices imported from the EU through a fictitious invoicing chain, more than HUF 3 billion in VAT was saved,” the Hungarian tax authority stated (translated by Google). The NAV added that some of the criminal proceeds were used to invest in cryptocurrency.
In addition to cryptocurrency, solar panels, associated inverters, cars, cash, real estate, and bank accounts worth more than half a billion forints were seized. According to the NAV, three members of the criminal organization have been taken into custody.