Hungary: ‘Meat Mafia’ Held Over US$ 20 Million Tax Fraud

Officials in Hungary are questioning 33 people about a meat trafficking scheme involving an alleged tax fraud of US$ 20 million.

Hungary’s National Tax Authority says dummy companies have been used by organized criminals to buy meat abroad, which was then sold through domestic firms to avoid the required tax on imported meat.

Companies involved in the chain concealed the origin of the meat, said tax authority spokesman Alexandra Sarkozi.

Officials said 130 locations have been searched by nearly 300 financial investigators, tax officers and IT specialists. The National Food Chain Safety Office has restricted the sale of 18 tons of meat products.

Six are being held in custody; one is under house arrest.