Among the people who have involved in the major international VAT fraud, there are suspected terrorists, stalwart Daesh sympathizers, people who shared addresses with former terrorists and jihadists, as well one person formerly suspected of terrorism, a joint survey conducted by Swedish Radio, Danish Radio and the newspaper Jyllands-Posten revealed. The exact extent of the terror funding was not revealed. However, both the Swedish and the Danish authorities pointed out suspicions of terrorism financing. In Denmark, one of the persons involved in the scheme, who is now dead, was previously put on the US sanctions list because of his terrorist relations.
"These depictions are far more extensive than anything we have previously known about. It's like lifting a stone and finding a whole new world underneath. And unfortunately, the authorities have yet to see the overall picture of this," Magnus Ranstorp told Swedish Radio.
Although several people involved in the fraud have already been convicted, VAT fraud is known to be particularly hard to weed out, as the same schemes are known to run for many years.
"Everything that is about providing people with an opportunity to finance terrorism is offensive. And it is all the more offensive to the public that it can continue," Anders Kassman of the Swedish Security Service told Swedish Radio.
"You get the impression that they can go on with this, and it's the taxpayers' money that goes away. The fact that it can continues makes me speechless," Magnus Ranstorp said.
Last week, a massive leak of documents from the Spanish police identified Denmark as an important tool within the Spanish al-Qaeda network, revealing two Spanish citizens behind several now-closed companies that owe millions of kroner in unpaid VAT having traveled to Denmark on numerous occasions under the pretense of "doing business." The police believed that the two lead an Islamic network based in the Spanish enclave of Melilla in North Africa. While the leaked documents also suggested that Denmark was the first stop for the jihadists from this group being sent to conflict zones, Denmark's intelligence agency declined to respond to the leak, citing security reasons.
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