Although information on possible tax evasion has been available to the police for at least a year, this year the case has moved significantly. First, the police began to investigate the case on the basis of a criminal complaint last December. Now, according to the findings, Neovlivní.cz has assessed the suspicion as serious.
“Police have commenced criminal proceedings for suspicion of a tax reduction offense,” spokeswoman Eva Kropacova of Prague police confirmed for Neovlivní.cz.
Possible tax offenses related to farm management The Stork’s Nest was first mentioned in 2014 by the German tax office, which had doubts about payments for the alleged advertising of Agrofert’s German branch at the Olbramovice farm. The Germans then officially handed over their suspicions to Czech financial management colleagues.
In particular, it is advertising that Agrofert Group companies have allegedly advertised at Čapí hnízdo. For the years 2010 and 2013, it was advertising for almost CZK 280 million. The German tax office and, subsequently, the Czech police suspected that such advertising was fictitious.
The police are investigating whether the farm has helped Agrofert to save on taxes through advertising. At the same time, however, this procedure also helped the Capi’s Nest to be able to repay loans and even exist.
However, at the time when the above-mentioned dispatch arrived in Prague from the German tax office, the Ministry of Finance was directed by Andrej Babiš and the case was not moved anywhere. The tax office did not contact the police at all.
But Czech investigators, who have been dealing with the Stork’s Nest subsidy since 2015, and a possible fraud when acquiring it, ordered an expert opinion on the farm’s economic condition. And in the report, information about suspected tax offenses also appeared on the basis of information provided by Neovlivní.cz. Thirdly, the OLAF report from the European Anti-Fraud Office, which examined the subsidies for the Stork’s Nest, mentions this suspicion.
However, Andrej Babiš and Agrofert holding, however, strictly reject the fact that anyone in the group in connection with the farm would commit a crime.
Except in the case of taxes, the police have already investigated the subsidy fraud and proposed to the prosecutor to send the Prime Minister and his family to court. The state attorney Jaroslav Šaroch has not yet decided on the indictment.