The Hague, 20 March 2017
On 14 March 2017, from a coordination centre at Eurojust, international action was taken against an organised criminal group operating from the Slovak Republic and Portugal, run by a French national and involving Belgian and French transport companies.
This complex case of serious organised social fraud involved the contravention of EU regulations concerning cross-border employment of personnel from 2010 to the present, with an estimated evasion of social contributions amounting to between EUR 8 and 9 million. Three Belgian and three French transport companies are alleged to have established subsidiary companies in the Slovak Republic and Portugal, but in effect continued to operate out of Belgium and France, so that they could employ drivers at lower cost and with fewer benefits.
The investigation began in Belgium by the Federal Public Prosecutor’s Office and in France by the French Public Prosecutor’s Office of Colmar and the Central Office for Fighting against Illegal Labour of the Gendarmerie nationale. Eurojust supported the investigation from the beginning.
To prepare for the action day, two coordination meetings were held at Eurojust and a joint investigation team, with the support of Eurojust, was formed in February between Belgium and France.
Facts at a glance
Arrests: four (BE: 1, FR: 1, PT: 1, SK: 1) (two on the basis of EAWs issued by the Belgian authorities);
Interviews: many have taken place and more are ongoing;
Houses and premises searched: 44 (BE: 26, FR: 5, PT: 2, SK: 11);
Seizures: several cars, including 3 luxurious cars, 20 trucks, documents, computers, jewellery, computer data.
For questions relating to the involvement of Member States, please contact the relevant national authorities.
For interviews and further information, please contact:
Corporate Communications Office
For all Eurojust press releases, please see www.eurojust.europa.eu (Press centre)