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Man facing directorship ban for 200K suspected tax scam used to fund terror

Prosecutors are calling for a four-year business ban for a man who admitted to fraudulently claiming value added tax refunds amounting to 200,000 euros. The suspect is believed to have used his ill-gotten gains to bankroll terrorist activities.

Käräjäoikeuden sisäänkäynti
Image: Linda Manner / Lehtikuva

A Helsinki man was in court on Monday accused of fraudulently claiming value added tax refunds from the Finnish Tax Administration Vero, and using the proceeds to fund terrorist activities.

The prosecutor in the case, Tapio Nyrhilä has asked the court to impose a four-year ban prohibiting the accused from engaging in any business activity.

According to court documents, the accused admitted to filing fake claims for VST refunds from the tax authorities in the names of two different companies. According to the charge sheet, in 2013 alone, the VAT refunds amounted to 28,000 euros.

The charges indicate that most of the payments showing up in the accounts of both companies came from the Finnish Tax Administration, following which they were transferred to a personal account.

Terror funding

The case is part of a wider trial of terrorism activities involving three other men, who are also facing charges for financial crimes. Their trials on such offences are due to begin later in November.

Two of the other men charged with financial crimes are also due to be read charges of plotting to engage in crimes with a terrorist intent.

District Prosecutor Tapio Nyrhilä previously told the Finnish News Agency STT that altogether, the accused took in some 200,000 euros from the illicit VAT scam as well as related fraud involving false receipts. Nyrhilä added that roughly half of that sum went towards funding illegal terrorist activities.

The trial involving the actual terrorism charges is due to begin in the Helsinki District Court on Tuesday. The three men at the centre of the case are suspected of involvement in a terrorist organisation as part of the ongoing conflict in Syria.

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