Police raid in 20 cities over tax forgery

Police raid in 20 cities over tax forgery

ANKARA - Doğan News Agency
The Ankara Police Department has conducted concurrent raids in 20 provinces against a network which has allegedly obtained hundreds of millions of Turkish Liras through a tax scam involving fictitious exports at Turkey’s customs gates.

Members of the fictitious exports gang allegedly used Istanbul’s Halkalı customs house and Hakkari’s Esendere customs house to conduct the scam. The gang founded front companies and made out value added tax declarations as if the companies were exporting goods to the neighboring countries of Iran, Iraq and Azerbaijan, and then obtained a 25 percent “refund” of taxes, after the export declarations were approved by the tax and financial offices.

Sources estimate the fraud at 500 million liras. The investigation is the continuation of a raid that began in Ankara on Friday. The largest raids were carried out in the eastern province of Hakkari, Istanbul, and the western provinces of İzmir and Bursa, and the gang was headquartered in Yüksekova, a district of Hakkari.

Some 150 people including tax office managers, businessmen and an independent deputy candidate were detained under the probe. Suspects were taken to Ankara for interrogation. Twenty-two were brought to court, while the rest were released after their testimony was taken.