Denmark is at the centre of an extensive, international CO2 quota fraud that runs into the billions, according to the conclusions of a report from Tax Minister Troels Lund Poulsen (Lib) to the Energy Policy Committee, Ekstra Bladet reports.
Environment Committee Chairwoman Ida Auken says the report is sheer admission from the Tax Ministry.
“The Danish quota register is the centre for all of Europe’s fraud – we now have it black on white from the ministry itself,” Auken tells Ekstra Bladet and urges Climate Minister Lykke Friis to help the Naitonal Auditors to clean up.
“The Climate and Energy Minister has been trying to cover up the size of the scandal that is on her table. Now the Tax Minister has revealed the issue and passed the buck on to her,” Auken says, adding that the case is so big that responsibility must be placed in the issue.
The report says that there has been fraudulent trading in CO2 quotas across the European Union, with many of the cases pointing back to Denmark.
Investigations are being carried out in several countries, with the Danish Fraud Squad involved in investigations in Germany, Spain, Norway and Belgium. In France alone, authorities have found some 151 quota accounts in the Danish register which they suspect have been used to carry out VAT fraud in CO2 quota trading.
The Tax Ministry has been working on the issue for some months, but several countries are said to be slow in providing the necessary information.
Tax Minister Troels Lund Poulsen has written to Parliament saying he plans to make personal contact with his colleagues in France and Germany in order to get more information.
The problem with the Danish system is that from 2007-2009 it was possible to open an account in the register without proof of identity, requiring no more than a mailing address – something that was attractive for European VAT speculators.
Edited by Julian Isherwood