The heads of 53 different companies are being investigated for tax evasion and money laundering, the Investigation Service of the Ministry of Finance of Georgia reports.
Defendants allegedly attempted to retain 100 million GEL ($34.3m/€30.6m) in VAT and avoid transferring it to the state budget.
Mikheil Oniani, deputy head of Investigation Department of Investigation Service of the Ministry of Finance of Georgia had a special briefing about this case, his statement reads as follows:
"Investigation Service has started investigation on 9 criminal cases against 53 individuals and a large-scale criminal scheme has been exposed, which considered tax evasion in particularly large quantities by manufacturing and using counterfeited tax documents and legalization of illicit income. As a result of investigative activities, at this stage the Service managed to detect and prevent usage of the counterfeited assets estimated at GEL 100 000 000 and therefore prevented the cause of the equivalent damage to the state budget.
As a result of intensive investigation activities, during the past 3 months, within launched 9 criminal cases, prosecution was initiated against 53 persons including 38 of them detained on the bases of authentic evidences obtained as a result of hundreds of investigative activities, including witness interrogations, seizures, searches, undercover investigative actions and other measures. Most of the accused persons are directors and founders of the various companies, and some of them are actual managers of those companies.
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