Italian police arrested the head of a tax collection agency in Genoa and four employees on Wednesday on charges of pocketing around €100m (£80m) from the money they gathered and spending it on private planes, parties and yachts
Ever wondered where the tax money goes ?, well now you know, the tax collectors seems to have a good time. Most likely this goes on in most other countries as well.
Tributi Italia (Italy Taxes) collected local taxes under contract for 400 town councils, but finance police in the northern city of Genoa (pictured) said the agency’s boss, Giuseppe Saggese, set up a system to siphon funds into the agency’s own bank accounts. Source: The Telegraph
According to the Telegraph: The news will infuriate Italians who have had to dig deep to pay higher taxes, imposed to rein in the country’s massive debt, while watching a succession of scandals involving the misuse of public funds.
Tributi Italia (Italy Taxes) collected local taxes under contract for 400 town councils, but finance police in the northern city of Genoa said the agency’s boss, Giuseppe Saggese, set up a system to siphon funds into the agency’s own bank accounts.
The money was used to pay for “private planes, yachts, expensive cars, luxury holidays, extravagant parties and music concerts,” said prosecutor Franco Cozzi in a statement. Mr Saggese himself pocketed at least €20m, it added.
Mario Monti’s technocrat government is trying to crack down on tax evasion. Resulting tough measures adopted by collection agencies have created widespread resentment.
The president of the regional government of Lazio resigned last month over a case involving embezzlement of party funds and members of the Campania, Lombardy and Calabria governments are also under investigation for misuse of public money.
Italian tax agents donned skis, gloves and goggles to launch an unusual blitz in the chic ski resort of Courmayeur, two months after a similar raid on another playground of the rich, Cortina d’Ampezzo.
The crackdowns were launched at opposite ends of the Alps – Courmayeur is on the French border while Cortina is in the Dolomites range in north-eastern Italy – and are part of a growing campaign against tax evasion by prime minister Mario Monti’s government.
The raid on Courmayeur, which sits in the shadow of Mont Blanc, involved 70 agents carrying out spot checks on 30 businesses.
Inspectors in skiing gear took ski lifts up to altitudes of 3,000m to check the books of bars and restaurants, while their colleagues targeted upmarket boutiques and shops in the town.
Hanging around unobtrusively in shops and restaurants, the plain-clothes officials observed whether business owners were issuing receipts to customers or, as has been found in similar raids in Cortina, Milan, Rome, Naples and the fashionable Riviera resort of Portofino, were omitting to give out receipts in order to under-declare their earnings and cheat the tax man.
In previous raids over the last few weeks, the appearance of tax authorities prompted a sudden bout of honesty among business owners – the issuing of receipts jumped a staggering 1,000 per cent in Naples.
According to The New York Times “As the battle for Libya rages on, the struggle over control of the country’s sovereign wealth fund and its $70 billion in assets has just begun.
The fund’s nominal head is Muhammad H. Layas, perhaps Libya’s most experienced international banker. He has had a leadership role in institutions including the Libyan Arab Foreign Bank, the only bank allowed to conduct international business during the imposition of United Nations sanctions against Libya; British-Arab Commercial Bank, a London-based wholesale bank now majority owned by Libya; and the Arab Banking Corporation, a Bahrain-based bank also majority controlled by Libya.”