Invoice Mill Dismantled
During an action day conducted on 2 March 2021, Hungarian authorities were supported by Europol in dismantling an organised criminal group (OCG) suspected of facilitating VAT fraud and money laundering that caused a more than €8.2 million tax loss to the Hungarian state budget.
Through so-called “invoice mills,” the OCG generated fictitious invoices, fictitious contracts, and involved “missing traders.” Missing traders are persons commissioned to perform services without the necessary means to perform them; they were based in Hungary and Croatia and received transfers of money on a monthly basis from beneficiary companies that issued fictitious invoices. Criminal proceeds were then returned in cash to the companies. The operation resulted in the arrest of nine suspects, including the alleged leader of the OCG. Europol pointed out that the modus operandi of “invoice mills” is becoming increasingly common in the EU.