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The prevention of economic crime requires multidisciplinary cooperation between authorities

Publication date 13.10.2023 16.32
Press release
EMPACT MTIC fraud meeting logo

An international seminar focussing on the prevention of internal trade fraud in the EU was held in Helsinki from 11 to 13 October 2023. The seminar brought together authorities specialised in fraud prevention and representatives of EU organisations from roughly thirty European countries.

The seminar put particular focus on the prevention of MTIC (Missing Trader Intra Community) crimes, so called carousel frauds. Carousel fraud refers to crimes where unfounded VAT deductions are made by seemingly circulating goods between EU countries. This is often done by front companies, whose operations seem legal based on the records, but the reality is different. 

The investigation of MTIC fraud requires multidisciplinary cooperation due to the challenging nature of the crimes. International cooperation is key, because illusory trade between different countries is utilized in the frauds. This is a significant type of economic crime; billions of euros in tax benefits are obtained early in the EU through these tax frauds.

– The purpose of the seminar was to strengthen the network of European customs, tax, police and judicial authorities in uncovering, investigating and prosecuting MTIC frauds related to intangible assets, says Teemu Koskela and Hanna Koskenranta, the senior customs inspectors who were in charge of organising the seminar on behalf of Finnish Customs.

The seminar was organised by Eurojust (European Union Agency for Criminal Justice Cooperation), Europol (European Union Agency for Law Enforcement Cooperation), Finnish Customs and Ekobrottsmyndigheten from Sweden. Apart from the representatives of the EU Member Countries, corresponding authorities from Norway, Switzerland and Great Britain also participated, as well as representatives of the European Public Prosecutor’s Office (EPPO) and DG Taxud.

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