ROME. — Italian tax evaders are being caught out by their addiction to fast cars, the police said yesterday, announcing the discovery of US$13 billion in unpaid taxes this year.
“These people are pushed to defraud by the mirage of easy money, to allow themselves the luxuries that they would otherwise not be able to afford, luxuries that are often the first clue,” the tax police said in a statement.
“It is not enough to put your big car in a relative’s name to trick the inspectors,” said the statement, adding that more than 2 000 people were under investigation for the alleged frauds and that 80 arrests had been made.
The police gave the example of a property developer in Perugia in central Italy spotted “speeding through town” in his Ferrari, Maserati or Mercedes.
The cars — all in his mother’s name — led investigators to uncover hidden revenues from property sales of seven million euros over three years.
The police said they had found a similar case in the town of Terni where a businessman spent the money he defrauded on a Ferrari and a Lamborghini.
In Pescara, they said they were investigating a plumber with three properties, 30 bank accounts and a Ferrari, who faked receipts.
Tax police said they had recovered 4,0 billion euros in the first four months of the year, on top of the 6,0 billion euros announced last week. — AFP.