The joint operation, supported by Europol, targeted a criminal network selling software solutions for cash registers enabling businesses to manipulate their daily sales records, writes Europol.
Cash-intensive businesses such as restaurants were able to use these ‘tuned’ registers to manipulate their income and diminish their output VAT and corporate tax liability. The customers, mainly Italians established in Germany, acquired both the hardware (cash registers and back offices) and the software from an Italian supplier, who had developed this product.
This IT solution enabled the businesses to access the database of the cash register securely and decide how much of their daily income to hide and how much to declare to the tax authorities. More than 300 owners of Italian restaurants across Germany have allegedly bought this solution, which is priced significantly higher than an ordinary cash register that cannot manipulate financial records. Europol supported the operational activities, facilitated the exchange of information and provided analytical support.
During the action day, Europol deployed two experts to Italy to cross-check in real time operational information against Europol’s databases to provide leads to investigators in the field. Europol also deployed a forensic expert to Italy to provide technical support to take down the server. .
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