Editor's Review

The Directorate of Criminal Investigation (DCI) helped in the location and arrest of the suspect.

A Danish citizen has been arrested in Nairobi in connection with a €85 million (Ksh11 billion) VAT fraud. 

In a statement by the European Public Prosecutor’s Office (EPPO) on Monday, June 10, the suspect was apprehended after being on the run for six months. 

He had fled Denmark to escape arrest after an investigation targeting an international criminal ring was carried out by the EPPO.

"After a six-month surveillance undertaking, the EPPO was able to locate and arrest the suspect in Nairobi, on 23 May 2024, with the support of the Danish authorities, Germany’s Federal Criminal Police Office (Bundeskriminalamt: BKA) and Germany’s State Criminal Police Office of North Rhine-Westphalia (Landeskriminalamt Nordrhein-Westfalen)," EPPO stated.

According to EPPO, the suspect was arrested by the Organized crime unit of the State Criminal Police Office of North Rhine-Westphalia and deported on June 5.

The Directorate of Criminal Investigation (DCI) also helped in the location and arrest of the suspect, who will now face charges in Germany.

File image of DCI officers during a drill.

He was wanted in connection with a criminal organisation active in the international trade of consumer electronics mainly AirPods.

"They are suspected of evading tax by means of a VAT carousel fraud – a complex criminal scheme that takes advantage of EU rules on cross-border transactions between its Member States, as these are exempt from value-added tax – with estimated losses to the EU and national budgets of at least €85 million," EPPO stated.

The European Prosecutions Office further disclosed that the suspects established companies in Germany and other EU Member States, as well as in non-EU countries, in order to trade goods through a fraudulent chain of missing traders who would later disappear without paying taxes.

"Other companies in the fraudulent chain would subsequently claim VAT reimbursements from the national tax authorities," EPPO added.