FRANKFURT, Sept 29 (Reuters) - A Briton arrested in Las Vegas last year in connection with suspected evasion of taxes worth 136 million euros ($153 million) in the trading of carbon emissions certificates has been extradited to Germany, local prosecutors said.
The move is part of a probe into so-called carousel trades made in 2009 and 2010, in which buyers imported emissions permits in one European Union country without paying value-added tax (VAT) and then sold them to each other, adding VAT to the price and generating tax refunds when no tax had been paid.
The 57-year-old man extradited to Germany is suspected of having been the mastermind of a gang making such trades and having provided capital for the purchase of emissions permits, the Frankfurt prosecutor’s office said on Tuesday, without revealing his identity.
“The suspect fed certificates into the trading process via a company based in Dubai, and as the person factually responsible for four companies based in Frankfurt, Munich and Berlin he controlled the VAT carousel through members of the gang,” the prosecutor’s office said.
The man was arrested in Las Vegas in May last year after a German court issued an international warrant for him. He was brought to Germany on Friday and has been remanded in custody, the prosecutor’s office said.
It also said that another suspect, a 35-year-old Briton, surrendered to German authorities voluntarily upon entering the country at Frankfurt airport on Sept. 15.
The man is suspected of having evaded 58 million euros of taxes via carousel trades between August 2009 and February 2010, using a Munich-based company that he headed at the time.
More than a dozen people have been jailed in three countries for their involvement in carbon trading scandals. Also, Frankfurt prosecutors last month indicted seven current and one former employee of Deutsche Bank in connection with its carbon fraud probes.
$1 = 0.8909 euros Reporting by Maria Sheahan, editing by William Hardy