Eurojust announced in a press release today its latest coordination effort with law enforcement authorities in the Netherlands, Spain, and Cyprus. Eurojust officials and law enforcement authorities in the three countries collaborated in an action that resulted in the searches of 10 homes and businesses in the three EU Member States. After conducting the searches and witness interviews, authorities charged several suspects with undeclared assets dating from 2009 to the present that total over EUR 1,000,000.
Eurojust reports that the authorities seized bank accounts, real estate, an automobile, watches, cash, and documents. The joint operations commenced after a money laundering and tax fraud investigation by the Dutch Fiscal Intelligence and Investigation Service (FIOD) revealed a “discrepancy between the deposits and withdrawals made using the debit and credit cards and the lawfully acquired and reported income. The investigations detected that the suspects used debit and credit cards issued abroad and linked to foreign bank accounts involving many Dutch and international companies to hide the sources of the funds.”
Eurojust was established in 2002 with the express purpose of ensuring adequate cooperation and coordination among the law enforcement and judicial agencies of EU Member States with respect to serious transnational organized crime and fraud matters.
“International coordination and judicial cooperation in cases such as this one are essential to uncover the sophisticated cross-border tax and banking constructions,” Eurojust said in the statement.
To learn more about Eurojust’s role in improving judicial cooperation, see this 2004 UK House of Lords report, as well as this primer by Stravroula Koutoulakou, a Public Prosecutor at the First Instance Court in Greece and national Eurojust member.