A €7,000,000 fraud operation, in the sales of electronic products from China, has been uncovered

In the framework of Operation Sumatra, developed by the Tax Agency and the National Police

  • The investigation is focused on studying an organisation, which has been operating since 2013, dedicated to importing goods and understating the values declared to customs, with the consequent public finance fraud

29 May 2018.- Today, in a collaboration between the Tax Agency and the National Police, a police operation is taking place in multiple Spanish provinces, against an organisation formed of Chinese citizens implicated in tax fraud and money laundering crimes, as well as the crime of belonging to a criminal organisation. Many arrests of Chinese citizens are being made, as well as searches of private properties and business addresses where the products are being sold, some of which are located in the Industrial Estate of Cobo Calleja, in the Madrid municipality of Fuenlabrada. The operation is being led by the 4th Court of Instruction of Móstoles, which has declared the actions secret.

The investigation began in mid-2017 after a report was filed by the Central Department of Economic and Tax Crimes (UDEF central), a division of the Judicial Police. The National Fraud Investigation Office (ONIF) of the Tax Agency subsequently joined the investigation once the preliminary proceedings had been opened by the court.

The investigation is focused on studying an organisation, which has been operating since 2013, dedicated to importing goods and understating the values declared to customs, with the consequent public finance fraud, both in terms of import duties, VAT and Corporation Tax.
The organisation, which controls production in China and sells the products in Europe, is specialised in the electronic sector (batteries, mobile accessories, etc.) and lighting (LEDs, halogen lights, fluorescent tubes etc.), selling many of the products under their own brand in both physical and virtual shops.

The organisation has been operating since at least 2013, using various companies, some of which still exist. The investigation has revealed the existence of hidden sales, for which the organisation has a network of retailers distributed throughout Spain, in charge of collecting money in cash and, therefore, avoiding detection from the Treasury.

The crimes investigated are crimes against Public Finance, money laundering and participation in a criminal organisation. The estimated value of the fraud from 2013 to 2017 amounts to almost 7 million euros.

The operation covers arrests and searches in private residences and business addresses in Madrid, Toledo, Pontevedra, Alicante, Valencia and Barcelona. Both National Police agents and Tax Agency ONIF workers, from the inspection departments in Valencia, Alicante, Toledo and Barcelona, are participating in the operation.