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Maltese Companies Used As Front For Italian Tax Evaders

by Robert Lee, Tax-News.com, London

10 December 2002


It was reported at the weekend that a number of companies and bank accounts established in Malta were used as part of a fraud network running in at least nine European countries.

Following the arrest for tax evasion of 22 Italian citizens in Asti, northern Italy, the Maltastar.com news service revealed that an as yet unspecified number of Maltese citizens were also involved in the scam, reporting that:

'Police found bills of exchange amounting to US$50 million (Lm20.8 million) and documents showing that a company was registered in Malta using a false identity in a Maltese suspect's office in Sliema.'

According to the news service the shell companies and bank accounts, thought to number around 8 and 23 respectively, were established in order to evade VAT and income tax in Italy and other European states, and to transfer the proceeds of illicit activities such as fiscal fraud out of Italy.


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