The heads of 53 different companies are being investigated for tax evasion and money laundering, the Investigation Service of the Ministry of Finance of Georgia reports.
Defendants allegedly attempted to retain 100 million GEL ($34.3m/€30.6m) in VAT and avoid transferring it to the state budget.
These 53 chief executives registered several companies in different regions of Georgia. They developed a criminal scheme by which companies used counterfeit assets to repay their taxes on goods imported to Georgia, mainly for petroleum products and to pay for current budgetary liabilities”, said Mikheil Oniani, deputy head of Investigation Department of Investigation Service of the Ministry of Finance of Georgia.
The crime is punishable by nine to 12 years in prison.
The investigation is also ongoing to identify possible public officials involved in the scheme.