Value-added tax (VAT) fraud is used to finance terrorism around the world and costs governments billions in revenue, but a new project by the Polish government is designed to put an end to this malicious practice.
The campaign website, stopVATcarousel.pl, is directed at a foreign audience and aims to raise awareness about the issue of VAT fraud across Europe. The campaign also highlights examples of how VAT fraud is used to fund terrorism campaigns, including the smuggling of weapons and drugs.
In the largest European cities such as London, Berlin, Brussels, and Madrid, posters have appeared informing citizens about the campaign. They draw attention to the stopVATcarousel.pl website where more information may be found about what VAT “carousels” are and how Poland is combating them.
The website shows Poland as the precursor of innovative methods for dealing with the crime of VAT fraud and features a video spot describing the problem and Poland's solution.
The site offers plenty of examples highlighting the issue of VAT fraud, including the estimated €1.2 billion loss in revenue due to VAT fraud between 2010 and 2017.
VAT fraud's link with terrorism is well-documented, with the website campaign writing, "In 2010, American soldiers operating in Afghanistan, found documents in one of Osmam bin Laden’s hideouts related to VAT fraud committed in Europe."
The British aristocrat and grandson of philanthropist Thomas Craigmyle, Alexander Francis Shaw of Craigmyle, participates in the video. He depicts VAT fraud in a colorful manner and explains how Poland is dealing with the issue.