Lukarevska: PRO Prevented Major VAT Return Fraud

Director of the Public Revenue Office (PRO) Sanja Lukarevska revealed at a press conference that three oil trading companies located in the Kumanovo-Lipkovo region have attempted to damage the state budget by acquiring value-added tax (VAT) returns with false documentation.

“We managed to detect the fraud attempts on time and acted immediately against them, thus preventing any damage to the state budget. Two of the three companies in question become suspicious when in a critical moment they decided to switch ownership and management. With this scheme, the three entities in question attempted to acquire from the state budget VAT return payouts of 160,117,130 denars and personal income tax of 18,969,998 denars.

We started an investigation which lasted several months, and noticed that the companies have no funds, no employees whatsoever, and no valid licence from the Energy Regulatory Committee for trade with oil, and once we were certain that this is a fraud attempt, we immediately notified the Public Prosecutor’s Office, the Interior Ministry and the Finance Police Department. Apart from the three companies, in this criminal network there are another five companies that cooperated with the three others as their suppliers. These entities have been aware of the illegal activities and decided to ignore it all and to not report it to the authorities,” Lukarevska said.