Second Brit charged by German authorities in EU ETS tax evasion probe

Published 14:25 on March 21, 2016  /  Last updated at 14:25 on March 21, 2016  /  Bavardage, EMEA, EU ETS  /  No Comments

German prosecutors have charged a second Briton over his alleged role in a gang that evaded €138 million in tax through the EU carbon market between Sep. 2009 and Apr. 2010, they said on Monday.

German prosecutors have charged a second Briton over his alleged role in a gang that evaded €138 million in tax through the EU carbon market between Sep. 2009 and Apr. 2010, they said on Monday.

The 58-year old man was not named by the Frankfurt prosecutors due to German law, but they said he was arrested on the sidelines of a boxing match in Las Vegas in May 2014 and extradited to Germany from the US in Sep. 2015.

According a German legal source and US court documents, the accused is British businessman Mohammad Safdar Gohir, who authorities “strongly suspect” of masterminding and funding a VAT carousel fraud ring through his Dubai-headquartered MP Solutions FZE during the period in question.

The Frankfurt prosecutors also said that a second British man, arrested at Frankfurt airport last September and charged in January, was last month jailed for four years for his role in evading €58 million in VAT.

The German source said a number of suspects in the case remain at large, but could not provide further details.

US court documents seen by Carbon Pulse show that the allowances traded between MP Solutions FZE and German-based firms 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, which European authorities estimate to have cost governments more than €5 billion in lost revenues.

By Mike Szabo – mike@carbon-pulse.com

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