Suspicious transactions that could be classified as money laundering were observed last year in activities such as the purchase of secondary raw materials, withdrawal of money from company accounts in the form of loans and re-exports – according to the report of the Directorate for the Prevention of Money Laundering.
The Authority’s 2022 annual report does not cite examples of suspicious transactions related to the construction sector or cryptocurrencies, which have been seen as the biggest money laundering sectors in past years.
Money laundering through trading in secondary raw materials and re-exports was mentioned in the report for 2020, but not for 2021. The Administration also cites an example of customs fraud when one person misused the company stamp, concealed the real origin of the goods, and thus damaged the state budget by 6.5 million euros. The example mentioned in the report is very similar to the case of the C&A clothing store, which went bankrupt in Serbia.
Last year, the Tax Administration sent ten requests for the delivery of data to the Administration for the Prevention of Money Laundering, while the Administration forwarded 106 pieces of information to the Tax Administration for further investigation.
Suspicious transactions also include “a simulated withdrawal” of cash from the accounts of legal entities, in order for companies to avoid reporting their real income to the tax authorities. Another money laundering activity that was prevalent was executing a large number of transactions related to the withdrawal of money from the company accounts for the payment of wages.
There were also those transactions that related to the abuse of personal accounts for business purposes, also for the purpose of concealing tax obligations.
Another frequent money laundering activity is perpetrated by foreign citizens and foreign companies that open bank accounts for domestic companies whose founders are foreign citizens. These accounts are most commonly used for re-exports.
(Biznis i Finansije, 09.08.2023)
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