Cyprus Mail

International operation to net undeclared assets

Authorities in the Netherlands, Spain, and Cyprus have seized bank accounts, real estate, watches and cash in an international operation that uncovered undeclared assets worth more than €1m, it was announced on Wednesday.

According to a statement issued by Eurojust, the European union’s judicial cooperation unit, the action, which took place on Tuesday, saw searches of 10 homes and businesses in the three countries.

“Several witnesses have been interviewed,” Eurojust said. “Suspects are charged with undeclared assets from 2009 to the present of more than €1m. Bank accounts, real estate, an automobile, watches, cash and documents were seized.”

Eurojust ensured proper coordination at EU level of the national investigations, and full legal and operational assistance to all national authorities involved.

The operation was coordinated from a centre at The Hague.

“These joint operations are the result of investigations into money laundering and tax fraud commenced by the Fiscal Intelligence and Investigation Service (FIOD),” the statement said.

Dutch authorities were alerted by the discrepancy between the deposits and withdrawals made using the debit and credit cards and the lawfully acquired and reported income.

The investigations detected that the suspects used debit and credit cards issued abroad and linked to foreign bank accounts involving many Dutch and international companies to hide the sources of the funds.

Anyone who does not declare foreign capital can be subject to a criminal investigation.

A police source told the Cyprus Mail officers raided the addresses of two offshore companies in Limassol, as well as another property. Two Dutch officers also took part in the operation in Limassol. The undeclared amount was €1.4m.

The financial crime unit were looking for one man whom they eventually tracked down at a third location that wasn’t included on the original search warrants.

The man was not arrested but he is expected to be questioned by police on Thursday.

Officers have seized computers, documents and memory sticks.

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