Netherlands: Massive fraud among Turkish bakers

Netherlands: Massive fraud among Turkish bakers

Via the Telegraaf (Dutch):

Turkish bakers massively violate the tax laws in the Netherlands, according to an investigation by the anti-fraud agency FIOD. The agency found bakers who committed tax fraud, as well as those who employed illegal immigrants or those who made a mess of the bookkeeping.

An FIOD spokesperson told De Telegraaf that they found something wrong with 60% of the bakers they investigated. They found illegal immigrants working there, or people who were on welfare, or the bookkeeping wasn't in order. They also had to warn the Foods and Good Authority several times, due to filth.

The tax authority started to investigate a group of about 500 bakers of non-Western origin last fall, together with the justice ministry and welfare authorities. Evidence and former violations led to intensive investigations of the mostly Turkish (85%) bakers. The FIOD meanwhile demanded 3 million euro in back taxes from 17 of the companies.

Last week the tax authority investigated five bakeries in Roermond and Eindhoven, and found that half a million euro had gone missing via fraud in buying and selling flour.

The Bread and Pastry Bakers association (NBOV) responded in shock to the preliminary results of the investigation. Secretary Cor Havermans said that they had regularly gotten signs of abuses, but 60% is extremely serious.

Ibrahim Özgül of the Turkish businesses association HOGIAF says that it doesn't make sense. Everybody must follow the rules, but it's strange that the FIOD limited themselves to Turkish bakers. It's the first time that only a small portion of a whole sector is being investigated, he said. Özgül spoke of "FBI-like raids" against his members.

The FIOD says that the extra supervision was due to repeated problems with this specific group. The investigation will conclude next year.