Aki/English > Security > Italy: Property valued in billions seized, confiscated from 'mafia, tax cheats'
Italy: Property valued in billions seized, confiscated from 'mafia, tax cheats'
last update: June 20, 10:37
Rome, 20 June (AKI) - More than 3.3 billion euros of property belonging to Italian tax dodgers and gangsters have been seized and confiscated during the first five months of the year, Italy's tax police said on Wednesday.
The police have uncovered almost 1,700 cases of fraud, including people accused of cheating the state by collecting money for false handicaps.
In its effort to cut debt and balance the budget, the Italian government has raised taxes and implemented pension reforms. But it has also launched a well-publicised campaign to tackle crimes that sap the state of valuable income, such as organised crime and tax evasion.
The Italian mafia by some estimates is the country's biggest business, hurting the economy by extorting billions-of-euros from legitimate businesses.
Italy every year loses more than 120 billion euros in dodged taxes , according to the Equitalia tax-collection agency. The country recovered 12.7 billion euros from the fight against evasion in 2011, a 15.5 percent rise from 2010.
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