Skip to content

Spanish police on Tuesday said they had arrested nine people and charged two more with avoiding 50 million euros ($67.54 million) in tax linked to trading in carbon credits.

The arrests came after Spanish police announced last week they were investigating alleged tax fraud, which European police agency Europol estimates has cost governments around Europe up to 5 billion euros.

“The operation began due to a report issued by Europol, which had already undertaken similar investigations in countries like France and the United Kingdom,” a Civil Guard statement said.

Norwegian police charged five men on Monday as part of a European-wide probe into so-called carousel fraud related to the European Union’s Emissions Trading Scheme.

Carousel fraud occurs when goods, in this case greenhouse gas emissions credits, are bought and imported tax-free from other EU countries, then sold to domestic buyers, charging them VAT.

The sellers then disappear without paying the tax to governments.

Reuters, 30 March 2010