DHL’s Italian subsidiary indicted for tax fraud
Italian tax police have seized assets worth more than 20 million euros ($ 24 million) from the local unit of logistics giant Deutsche Post DHL (DPWGn.DE) as part of a investigation for fraud, revealed Monday a court document seen by Reuters.
Deutsche Post DHL has confirmed that its Italian subsidiary DHL Supply Chain has been informed by prosecutors in Milan of an investigation focused on alleged tax irregularities.
“As the company believes it has always operated in full compliance with Italian tax law, it will provide investigators with all the cooperation necessary to quickly and satisfactorily clarify its position,” Deutsche Post DHL said in a statement.
Milan prosecutors allege that a “multinational transport and logistics company” in Italy failed to pay value added taxes and pension contributions due for staff, police said on Monday, relying on subcontractors rather than hired workers.
The anonymous logistics company used workers provided by a consortium of 23 local cooperative enterprises, police said. The asset seizure order, a copy of which Reuters saw, identified the company in question as the Italian unit of Deutsche Post DHL.
Police confirmed that they seized more than 20 million euros in assets following the investigation and searches in Milan and neighboring towns.
The seizure order specified that two executives of the Italian subsidiary of the German firm were the subject of an investigation for tax evasion. Under Italian law, companies can be held liable for crimes committed by their managers.
Milan prosecutors Giovanna Cavalleri and Paolo Storari said in the document that by using external labor, DHL Supply Chain achieved significant savings in labor costs while exploiting workers and by competing unfairly with its rivals.
“Compliance is and always has been a fundamental tenet of all DHL business units and guides all of our actions within the Deutsche Post DHL Group,” the German company said.
($ 1 = 0.8230 euros)
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