Fuel fraud, 13 suspects and seizure of assets for 25 million

(ANSA) – CATANIA, NOVEMBER 25 – Soldiers from the Financial Police of Catania and officials from the Excise, Customs and Monopolies Agency (Adm) of Sicily have seized assets worth 25 million euros from eight companies, two sole proprietorships and thirteen suspects in the context of an investigation into an alleged fuel scam. The provision of the Etna investigating judge, issued at the request of the European Public Prosecutor’s Office of Palermo, hypothesizes, for various reasons, the crimes of subtraction from the assessment or payment of excise duty on energy products, unfaithful and omitted tax returns, issuing of invoices for operations non-existent. The seizures were carried out in the provinces of Catania, Palermo, Enna, Catanzaro and Reggio Calabria. The investigation, conducted by the units of the public finance protection groups of the Pef unit of the Catania finance police and the ADM’s regional anti-fraud operative, involved two distinct groups. According to the indictment, they marketed petroleum products illegally introduced into the national territory for subsequent low-cost resale, evading VAT and excise duties, and sold diesel for agricultural use and unauthorized mixtures fraudulently intended for automotive use.

A first group would have illegally introduced large quantities of energy products into Italy from Austria, Germany, the Czech Republic, Romania and Slovenia formally addressed to two deposits in the provinces of Verona and Catania, but in fact destined for other Etna storage sites managed by the suspects and he would then have sold the fuel at low cost to road haulage companies and road distributors in Sicily. The competitiveness of the prices charged would have been ensured by the evasion of taxes with invoices for non-existent operations. The second group, based in the Catania area, would have made substantial purchases of diesel for agricultural use and energy products “stretched” with poor quality waste oil in three warehouses in Reggio Calabria, Gioia Tauro and Palermo to then market them in Sicily without paying taxes . During the investigations, over 125,000 liters of fuel of illegal origin were seized, in addition to the means and equipment used for transport and storage. .