AFTER five years of investigation, a judge in Alicante has taken charge of a trial of 57 people accused of money laundering connected with selling shoes from China.
Those in the dock, made up of individuals and companies, are believed to have set up a network that has defrauded the tax authorities of an estimated €30m of IVA (VAT) over a period of four years between 2008 and 2012.
The operation concerns footwear imported from China and sold across Spain under the false company names that conceal the real buyers. The original documentation showed that the imports should have been sold in Portugal or in other European Union countries, but instead were sold in Spain. Any products sold inter-community are exempt from IVA and thus a refund of related customs duties was requested and paid. The judge decreed that the amount of IVA declared was much less than the correct amount that should’ve been paid.