German authorities charge British man for suspected tax evasion in EU carbon trading probe

Published 12:05 on January 13, 2016  /  Last updated at 20:26 on January 13, 2016  /  Bavardage, EMEA, EU ETS  /  No Comments

German prosecutors have charged a British man suspected of forming part of a gang that evaded some €58 million in taxes using the EU ETS between Sep. 2009 and Apr. 2010, the authorities said in a statement on Wednesday.

German prosecutors have charged a British man suspected of forming part of a gang that evaded some €58 million in taxes using the EU ETS between Sep. 2009 and Apr. 2010, the authorities said in a statement on Wednesday.

The 35-year old man, formerly director of a Munich-based trading firm, turned himself in at Frankfurt airport last September, the prosecutors said.

The individual was not named but he matches the Frankfurt Prosecutors’ office’s description of Faisal Zahoor Ahmad from Halifax, West Yorkshire, who managed Munich-based Roter Stern GmbH and whom German authorities said they had arrested last September after issuing an international warrant in Apr. 2014.

Roter Stern was suspended from trading on Munich-based exchange Bayerische Boerse’s carbon trading platform in 2010 for suspicious activities, and was dissolved following insolvency proceedings later that year.

Ahmad’s arrest came days before another British man, 57-year old Mohammad Safdar Gohir, was extradited to Germany from the US over similar charges linked to €136 million in evaded taxes, after he was detained in Las Vegas in May 2014.

Authorities said Gohir is “strongly suspected” of masterminding and funding a VAT carousel fraud ring through his Dubai-headquartered company during the period in question, which traded allowances with four other firms based in Frankfurt, Munich and Berlin.

US court documents seen by Carbon Pulse show that the allowances traded between Gohir’s MP Solutions FZE, and German-based Roter Stern GmbH, Tageslicht Umweltssysteme GmbH, Energie Intelligenz GmbH, and Vektor Energie GmbH, were “later sold almost exclusively” to German investment bank Deutsche Bank.

German prosecutors last year charged eight former and current Deutsche Bank employees over their suspected involvement in helping the bank’s clients evade taxes between Sep. 2009 and Feb. 2010.

Since 2011, at least 10 individuals have been sentenced by German courts to jail terms of between two and eight years for their part in carousel fraud in the EU carbon market.

By Mike Szabo – mike@carbon-pulse.com

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