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إدارة الموقع

Imported Cars Corruption File: The Defendants Referred For The Prosecution

Nouara Bachouche/English version: Dalila Henache
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Imported Cars Corruption File: The Defendants Referred For The Prosecution

The investigating judge of the First Chamber of the Economic and Financial Criminal Court in Sidi M’hamed, Algiers, referred on Thursday, May 16, to the Scheduling Department, the customs’ corruption file related to “imported cars and tampering invoices fraud with tax evasion,” which brought more than 30 defendants, including 13 customs officials who were placed in temporary detention, along with port workers, including women, and 12 transit agents who were placed under judicial control.

In the details revealed by Echorouk” sources, the investigating judge of the First Chamber of the Economic and Financial Pole referred the file at the weekend, to the scheduling department of the same judicial authority, to decide the date of the trial that will occur within these days.

The defendants were faced with heavy charges included in the Penal Code, Combating and Prevention of Corruption 01/06, such as violating customs legislation, inflating invoices, tax evasion, abusing position through violating the laws, accepting an undeserved advantage, and many other accusations.

The facts of the case, according to what was exclusively reported by Echorouk, relate to the import of “luxury” cars, such as “Lamborghini, Porsche, Mercedes” and other brands. The customs services at the port of Algiers violated the provisions of Article 16 of the Customs Law, which determines how to reach the value, by relying on fraudulent invoices through a “high reduction” of invoices that reached half the real price of the cars which caused tax evasion, to obtain reductions in the value of duties and customs rights “TVA-DD”, thus, incurring the state treasury billions of losses in dinars, as these amounts will be determined by the judicial expertise report.

Investigations also revealed that the customs officials who are accused in the file conducted the customs duties on the luxurious cars without referring to the International Reference Guide for Car Prices “ARGUS,” which determines the values and prices of cars and their customs duties in the international market, according to type, model, and engine power. It also includes all models of cars manufactured and marketed abroad and these prices are a reference for risk management by the state, by comparing them to those declared by individuals and monitoring any false files.

In case of violations or a “situation of doubt,” Article 16 of the Customs Law is applied to the importer who owns the car, and if the importer does not provide the necessary legal justifications, the relevant Customs Authority adopts other methods for evaluating the cars that are stipulated in the Customs Law.

The value declared in this framework also constitutes a basis for calculating the rights of mandatory fees, which is the sum of the price approved in the database, from which the value of the value-added fee approved in European countries, which is equivalent to 20%, is deducted, and the price of sea freight is added to it.

On the other hand, the report of the General Inspectorate of Finance revealed terrible corruption in squandering public funds in national and hard currency in suspicious operations to import vehicles by forgery, reducing the declared value, and using the same references more than once to customs luxury tourist cars, in addition to false declarations regarding the condition and the real situation of the vehicle and manipulating the odometer. What is even more illegal is the importation of vehicles damaged in traffic accidents, used or damaged by floods, and presenting them as modern cars of less than 3 years old, and what is hidden is more dangerous.

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