China has beefed up efforts to crack down on tax-related crimes following a series of fraud cases, the Ministry of Public Security said on Wednesday.
"Tax-related crimes have seriously threatened the country's tax security, destroyed the market economic order and worsened the business environment, and we will resolutely fight against such crimes," Gao Feng, director at the ministry's Economic Crimes Investigation Bureau, said on Wednesday.
Figures provided by the ministry show that Chinese authorities have investigated 22,800 tax-related crimes since last August involving 562 billion yuan ($81.4 billion).
Meanwhile, police under supervision of the ministry uncovered 56 major cases nationwide and captured dozens of suspects, smashing many professional criminal gangs.
Gao said the suspects usually registered or purchased shell companies and fabricated special invoices for value-added taxes, then escaped to other regions to recommit crimes.
Some suspects even set up "invoice shops" and "shell company shops" online, and gangs traded with each other to create false invoices.
Moreover, the tax swindlers often transferred their ill-gotten funds through underground banks. Such crimes can lead to many other offenses, such as fraud, money laundering, corruption and embezzlement, Gao said.
One typical case occurred in May, when police in Zhejiang province arrested 17 suspects, smashed eight dens for making false invoices and froze 36 million yuan in dirty money.
Guo Xiaolin, director of the investigation department under State Administration of Taxation, said tax departments will transfer evidence of illegal behavior to public security departments.
Moreover, they will strengthen routine supervision for companies, while blacklisting the companies involved in tax fraud and limiting them from having access to market businesses, he added.
In August 2018, the Ministry of Public Security, State Administration of Taxation, People's Bank of China and General Administration of Customs initiated a two-year campaign to target crimes involving false invoices and tax fraud.
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