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Mink farms conceal millions in foreign assets

11 september 2019 16:15

Today the FIOD conducted 11 searches of houses and business properties in Appeltern, Gemert, the municipality of Houten, Malden, Putten and Zeewolde. Eight men and one woman are suspected of participating in a criminal organisation, tax fraud and money laundering. One man of the municipality of Houten was arrested. Searches were also conducted in Denmark. This fraud involves millions of Euros.  8 suspects’ houses, 18 bank balances and 23.500 Euros cash are seized.

After investigating bank details from Luxembourg, at the beginning of 2018 the Netherlands Tax and Customs Administration sent a number of people a letter inviting them to provide information on their suspected Luxembourg bank account. During the investigation of undisclosed bank accounts in Luxembourg the Netherlands Tax and Customs Administration discovered a way in which a number of mink farms, with the help of consultants (so-called ‘facilitators’), wanted to hide their turnover from the Netherlands Tax and Customs Administration.

Undisclosed turnover
The criminal investigation conducted by the FIOD shows that a number of mink farms probably use this structure. The structure works as follows: a part of the proceeds of mink pelts sold at foreign auctions are put on a Luxembourg bank account via a foreign company. Subsequently, the money is transferred to the mink farms’ Luxembourg bank accounts after deducting a commission for the facilitators. As a result the auction a part of the proceeds have not been declared in the tax returns for a long period of time. First indications suggest that it involves more than 50 million in concealed turnover. The FIOD also has its eye on a second structure that is used.

Netherlands Tax and Customs Administration
The FIOD investigation is primarily aimed at the facilitators who made these structures possible.
All the information on individual mink farms is shared with the Netherlands Tax and Customs Administration that will further assess the tax returns of the parties concerned. Today, the Netherlands Tax and Customs Administration will send a letter with information about this investigation to all the entrepreneurs in this line of business.

Foreign assets
Netherlands citizens are allowed to transfer assets abroad, but they much be open and transparent about this towards the Netherlands Tax and Customs Administration. If they are not and the Netherlands Tax and Customs Administration finds out, action will be taken and a criminal investigation may be started. The Netherlands Tax and Customs Administration is increasingly exchanging information with other countries. This way the Netherlands Tax and Customs Administration detects people who did not disclose their assets much sooner.
Want to know more? Click here. If you have any questions please contact the Netherlands Tax and Customs Administration, administrative centre for Concealed Assets: 088 – 15 32 502.

Information: Wietske Visser, 06 – 18 60 77 61