Spain cracks down on Chinese import fraud

Spain grants more than 100,000 temporary protection permits to Ukrainian citizens. Image: @sanchezcastejon/ Twitter

SPANISH Tax Agency, Hacienda, has begun a large scale investigation into fraud and tax avoidance, specifically Chinese imports, after the government lost €100m in unpaid taxes.

In December 2016 the treasury carried out a string of lawsuits against a Chinese organisation importing goods from China and Pakistan. At customs goods were declared up to 20 times lower than their real value, resulting in fraud of over €12m. Courts recovered over €4m after seizing company property and accounts.

The new operation aims to crackdown on the illegal activities of importers, distributers and sellers of Chinese products. As part of the Annual Tax and Customs Control Plan for 2017, more than 370 officials are taking part in the nationwide strike against illicit trading.

Outlined explicitly in their Control Plan, Hacienda stated that it would focus on a “combined investigation of the import of consumer products, textiles and other items of Asian origin.”

The investigation came after six months of research, which estimated over 50 per cent of Chinese imports committed trader fraud. 

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