The European Public Prosecutor’s Office announced on Thursday that it has launched a probe into organized criminal trade of luxury cars in Bulgaria and France.
“The suspected criminal group, active in several EU countries, is believed to be laundering the proceeds of criminal activity by trading luxury cars, without paying VAT,” the office said in a statement.
It added that the illegal activities dated back to 2018 and caused at least €11 million ($12.3 million) damage to the EU budget.
As part of the probe, the searches were carried out in the Bulgarian capital city of Sofia, as well as in the cities of Varna and Vinograd to seize evidence and proceeds of the crimes, it said, adding €73,000 in cash, gold, and foreign currencies were seized as a result.
In June, searches were carried out in France as part of the same probe.