Raid against undeclared work: Arrests in the Rhine-Main area

Mith a nationwide raid in Frankfurt and other cities on Wednesday, the main customs office and the public prosecutor’s office in Frankfurt broke up a criminal organization that is said to have caused tax damage of around 13.7 million euros with bogus companies in the construction industry. Specifically, the 21 suspects are accused of gang-like withholding of social security contributions, tax evasion and fraud to the detriment of the social security fund in the construction industry. The investigators in Hesse and other federal states searched 56 business premises and apartments on Wednesday. The main focus was the Rhine-Main area. Among other things, they also controlled a meeting place for undeclared workers in the Gallus district of Frankfurt.

Catherine Alexander

Responsible editor for the “Rhein-Main” department of the Sunday newspaper.

As a spokeswoman for the main customs office in Frankfurt announced, a 54-year-old Serb is the main suspect. Arrest warrants were issued for him and two other suspects. According to the spokeswoman, the aim of the use of the “BAO Zapfenstreich”, in which around 700 officers were involved, was to secure extensive evidence. One of the accused is also suspected of having participated in the procurement of counterfeit vaccination cards.

According to the investigations conducted so far, the main suspect operated a large construction company in Frankfurt, with which he generated sales of more than 76 million euros in the construction industry over a period of seven years. Wages were paid “to a considerable extent” in the black. To generate the money, the accused used so-called cover bills from bogus companies. The contributions transferred to the accounts of these bogus subcontractors were returned to the group of perpetrators in cash and were used for black money payments.

Live ammunition, weapon parts, a stun gun, nunchucks, two telescopic batons, ivory, marijuana, a fake vaccination card and six-figure assets were seized during the searches on Wednesday.