Hungary’s National Tax and Customs Administration (NAV) has confiscated cryptocurrency assets valued at $1 million. The seizure is part of an extensive investigation into a criminal organization suspected of evading taxes amounting to three billion Hungarian forints, approximately $8.29 million.
The operation involved simultaneous raids on 28 locations, resulting in the arrest of three individuals connected to the group.
The criminal organization, primarily involved in the consumer electronics trade, allegedly exploited loopholes in the European Union’s tax system. They imported electronic devices such as smartphones, tablets, and solar panels tax-free from various EU countries.
Moreover, these products were then sold through a network of shell companies, effectively dodging value-added tax (VAT) obligations. The NAV revealed that the group frequently changed these front companies, allowing them to sell these electronic devices to wholesalers and resellers at competitive prices. Consequently, the organization evaded more than HUF 3 billion in VAT.
The NAV’s operation was not limited to the confiscation of cryptocurrency. Additionally, assets such as solar panels, associated inverters, cars, cash, real estate, and bank accounts worth more than half a billion forints were seized. The authorities have transferred the confiscated cryptocurrencies to a specially designed wallet under NAV’s control.
Hungary’s complex relationship with cryptocurrency
Hungary has had a somewhat ambivalent stance towards cryptocurrency. György Matolcsy, the governor of Hungary’s central bank, Magyar Nemzeti Bank (MNB), had previously proposed that the European Union should consider a blanket ban on crypto trading and mining.
According to the proposal made by Matolcsy, individuals and companies based in the EU could maintain ownership of their crypto assets outside the EU while regulators would monitor their holdings.
However, the country has shown a different attitude regarding Central Bank Digital Currencies (CBDCs). Significantly, Hungary’s central bank launched its CBDC project in collaboration with fintech company Perfinal just last month.